By Edoamaowo Udeme
The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) recently stepped up its enforcement activities across the country by sealing off 339 Pharmacies, Patent Medicine Shops and illegal medicine shops.
The premises were sealed for offences ranging from operating without PCN registration, expired premises licence, dispensing ethical product without supervision of a pharmacist, poor storage and sanitary conditions amongst others.
The PCN Registrar, Pharm Elijah Mohammed, said activities of the outlets tend to encourage abuse and misuse of controlled medicines with negative social and security implications
He said so far, 22 major towns and villages in 22 States including the FCT, have been visited by the Agency.
“The major aim of the enforcement exercise is to ensure that all premises where medicines are sold fulfill conditions for registration with respect to storage facilities, environment and personnel.
“One on our guidelines is to ensure that medicines remain safe, effective, and of good quality as they transit from one level of distribution chain to the other end users and the weaknesses in the distribution chain is the proliferation of illegal medicine stores.”
He lamented lack of trained personnel handling medicines, saying it contributed immensely to irrational dispensing of medicines resulting in treatment failures.
“Since our enforcement, the owners of some of the sealed premises have indicated their willingness to fulfil conditions for registration by upgrading their storage facilities and employing pharmacist to supervise the dispensing of ethical products.
“The facilities that eventually fulfil conditions for registration as Patent Medicines shops will be registered and owners trained on handling simple household medicines at the PCN orientation programme and they will subsequently undergo a continuous education programme every two years.”
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