By Demola Akinyemi – Ilorin
The Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharmacist Elijah Mohammed has said that a total of 499 premises made up of 30 Pharmacies and 469 Patent Medicine Shops have been sealed in Kwara state by PCN for various professional misconduct.
He said this in Ilorin on Thursday at a press conference addressed by his representative, and Director of Enforcement Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Pharmacist Stephen Esumobi.
Pharm. Esumobi, said” PCN enforcement team has been in Kwara state since the beginning of this week. The aim of the enforcement exercise is to ensure that all premises where medicines are sold are registered, having fulfilled conditions with respect to location, storage facilities, environment, documentation, and personnel.
According to him, “At the end of the enforcement exercise, a total of 687 premises comprising 98 pharmacies and 589 Patent Medicine shops were visited.
He said,”A total of 499 premises made up of 30 Pharmacies and 469 Patent Medicine shops were sealed for various offenses some of which include operating without registration with Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, failure to renew premises license, dispensing ethical products without the superior of a pharmacist, poor storage and sanitary conditions among others while 12 Pharmacies and Patent Medicine shops were issued compliance directives ”
Pharm. Esumobi, also said that one of the identified weaknesses in the drug distribution chain was the proliferation of illegal medicine shops which has become worse since the lockdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said many of the premises do not have appropriate storage facilities thereby exposing medicines to harsh environmental factors like high temperature and humidity as some other medicines that are photosensitive are exposed to direct sunlight which causes degradation of medicines thus making many of them harmful.
Esumobi added,”Furthermore, these illegal outlets do not have Pharmacists to handle ethical medicines in their premises. This has contributed immensely to the 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” he added.
He further noted that “In order to address this challenge, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has stepped up enforcement activities across the country and its enforcement team has visited various States of the Federation.”
Esumobi said that the Kwara state Office of the PCN is doing all in its power to assist its members saying that the facilities that fulfill conditions for registration as Patent Medicine shops will be registered and their owners will be trained on how to handle simple household medicines at the PCN Orientation programme.
He however advised members of the public to purchase their medicines from licensed Pharmacies.