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Illicit drug sales: PCN Seals 210 patent medicine stores, 8 pharmacies in Calabar

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…arrest seven persons

By Ike Uchechukwu

CALABAR-The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, PCN, has sealed 218 drug stores including 10 pharmacies, and 210 patent medicine shops operating and selling illegal drugs.

Drugs
File: Drugs

Seven persons were also arrested during the operation and will be charge to court as soon as possible the council revealed.

The Director, Inspection and Monitoring of the council, Mrs Anthonia Aruya, disclosed this to journalists in Calabar on Friday after carrying out enforcement activities in the state.

She said during the exercise 276 premises were visited, comprising 19 pharmacies and 257 patent medicine shops and illegal outlets.

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Her words: “Seven arrests were made and a total of 218 premises were sealed, comprising eight pharmacies and 210 patent medicine shops and illegal outlets.

“Two premises  were issued compliance directives for various offenses ranging from poor handling of controlled substances, sale and dispensing of ethical/prescription drugs without the supervision of a pharmacist, unhygienic environment, poor documentation among others, in the interest of public safety,” she said.

Aruya said if drugs were not properly handled, they become poison, adding that only a trained pharmacist could prescribe ethical drugs.

She said: “Tramadol belongs to “a group of medicine called controlled substances. Only a qualified person can prescribe it. When abused, it can impact negatively on the society. It is a very good drug if used in the right manner. However, it has lethal effect if abused.”

“Any premises found selling above its scope of operations such as sale and dispensing of ethical products without the presence of superintended pharmacists or handling of controlled medicine by non pharmacists is operating in violation of the law.

“We have been carrying out enforcement activities across the states in fulfillment of our mandate in PCN ACT Cap P17, LFN 2005 and also in line with National Drug Distribution Guildlines, NDDG,this was geared towards streamlining the drug distribution value chain to promote the provision of safe ,effective and quality medicine distributed along registered and currently licensed premises .

She said PCN works in collaboration with the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, adding that the aim of the enforcement exercise was to sanitise the drug distribution chain. (NAN)

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