By Sola Ogundipe
Worried by the chaotic drug distribution system in Nigeria, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Lagos, State branch, has called on the Federal government to declare a state of emergency in the system.
Speaking on the Day themed: “Safe and Effective Medicines For All,” the Chairman of the Lagos PSN, Pharm Bola also argued for a Presidential Committee on Drug Distribution, headed by an experienced Registered Pharmacist.
Adeniran who chronicled the travails of the nation’s drug distribution system called for a complete review of the drug distribution channels.
Her words: “For many years, the state of drug distribution has continued to be grounded in vacillations and in fact, has been at the whims and caprices of the vicissitudes of life which have almost snuffed life out of it.
“The reality today is that we have made little or no progress in the quest to sanitise our distribution channels. If we decide to call a spade a spade, the Federal Government actually needs to call a state of emergency in the drug distribution bracket of our health sector to redress the unending cycle of unproductivity.”
Recalling the circumstances under which the National Drug Distribution Guidelines, NDDG, came into being primarily to seal all existing open drug markets, Adeniran regretted government’s indecisiveness on the closure of the drug markets.
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“One of the sore points in drug distribution remains Patent Medicine Vending in our clime. While we appreciate that there is an obvious dearth in all health services including Pharma services and manpower, it appears as usual that the Federal Ministry of Health through the powers that be is only interested in tackling the challenges in the Pharma sector probably because of the commercial propensities associated with Pharma practice.
“Patent Medicine Vending, which was meant to be a stop-gap-mechanism in service rendition to people in underserved areas has become a huge albatross on the neck of practicing Pharmacists because it has become an endless means of easy access to all categories of medicines.
She faulted the involvement of persons other than Registered Pharmacists and other trained personnel like Pharmacy Technicians to dabble into the professional responsibility of sales and dispensing of drugs.
“This fundamentally jeopardises the aims and objectives of the National Drug Policy 2005 which is inclined to delivering safe, efficacious and affordable drugs to the people of Nigeria.
“It is therefore very imperative to call on the Federal Government that the reforms we need with Patent Medicine Vending must focus on allowing Pharmacy Technicians who are part of the global pharmacy workforce to take care of Patent Medicine Vending in rural communities or other areas where service delivery is lacking in Pharmaceutical Services.