By Sola Ogundipe
AS part of its resolve to obtain presidential assent to the Pharmacy Bill 2017, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN, called out community pharmacy practitioners in the country to withdraw services for two hours and shut down their pharmacies on Monday 6th May, 2019 from 12 pm to 2pm.
Reiterating its call for Presidential Mohammadu Buhari to assent to the Bill, the ACPN noted in a communique issued at the end of its National Excecutive Council (NEC) held in Kano, Kano State, that it was unfortunate the Pharmacy Bill remained unsigned even as the current administration and the 8th National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria draw to an end.
The statement signed by Pharm Adekola O. Samuel and Pharm. Abosede Idowu, National Chairman and National Secretary of the ACPN respectively, observed with dismay that “for a country like Nigeria, bedevilled with the twin evils of drug abuse of epidemic proportion and fake drugs, it is unfortunate that the most potent legal instrument that can help to curb this menace is seemingly being treated with levity.”
They said after a careful evaluation, the NEC directed each State branch of the Association to commence advocacy through media interactions to further sensitise the Federal Government of Nigeria on the need to uphold good Pharmacy practice for the citizenry as it is obtainable globally.
They said Pharmacists and other stakeholders in health would be mobilised to Abuja for a peaceful march in support of the patriotic call for immediate assent of Mr. President to the Pharmacy Council Bill 2017.
“NEC reviewed the level of effectiveness of regulatory and enforcement activities across the States. As a way of improving this, it mandated the National Executive Committee to broker stakeholder’s meeting between the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), PCN State Officers, Directors of Pharmaceutical services and the NEC of ACPN.
They deliberated on the chaotic drug distribution system in the country and agreed that the implementation of the National Drugs Distribution Guidelines (NDDGs) remains a viable panacea to chaotic drug distribution, proliferation of fake and counterfeit pharmaceutical products in the country.
They said the NEC observed that despite assurances the January 2019 take-off date for implementation was not met.
The ACPN however, observed the drastic increase in the use of narcotics, psychotropic substances and other related drugs by youths and commended the Conference Planning Committee (CPC) for making the burning issue the theme of this year’s Annual National Scientific Conference for the Association billed to hold from 30th June-6th July, 2019 in Kano, with the theme “Tackling the Menace of Drug Abuse: An innovative approach in the future of the country.”