….Seven illegal medical dealers arrested
By Dayo Johnson
The enforcement team of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria PCN have arrested seven illegal medical dealers and sealed 301 illegal patent medicine stores across Ondo.
Registrar of the Council, Pharm Elijah Muhammed who said this in Akure while addressing newsmen after the visit of the councils enforcement team to the state noted that they would soon be prosecuted.
Speaking through the councils Director Enforcement, Pharm. Stephen Esumobi, the Registrar said the team in July this year sealed 255 illegal patent medicine stores in the state, but seven dealers broke the PCN seal and continued with their illegal activities.
Muhammed noted that the breaking of the seal prompted the enforcement team to return to the state hence “the arrest of seven owners or agents of these premise during a joint Operation between the PCN enforcement team and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Muhammed said that ” They will be charged to court when investigations are concluded while efforts will be intensified to ensure that’ the other culprits are apprehended and prosecuted.
” Most of these shops do not have appropriate storage facilities leading to the deterioration of medicines thereby making them unsuitable for human consumption.
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” These illegal outlets do not have Pharmacists to handle the ethical medicines in their premises.
” This has contributed immensely to irrational dispensing of medicines resulting in treatment failures and untoward effects on patients and other unsuspecting members of the public who patronize them.
“Also the activities of these illegal outlets tend to encourage the abuse and misuse of controlled medicines with the attendant negative social and security implications.
” The enforcement team visited some other towns like Ondo, Oba ile, Ogbese and Owo. At the end of the exercise the team visited a total number of 496 premises comprising of 66 pharmacies and 430 patent medicine stores.
“A total of 301 premises were sealed comprising of 30 pharmacies and 271 patent medicine stores for offences such as operating without licensure, Sale of ethical products without the supervision of a pharmacist, carrying out activities beyond the scope of licence, poor storage conditions, unauthorized relocation of premises among others.
The Registrar added that Eighteen premises were issued compliance directives for offences such as non-display of licences, poor documentation among others.
Muhammed who however expressed concern that the law to prosecute the offenders are too weak appealed to the National Assembly to expedite action on the law.
He pointed put that ” our laws needed to be strengthened, reviewed it has not been updated in the last 40 years. The option of fine is ridiculous and these had emboldened offenders.