By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-CHAIRMAN of Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, PCN, Prof. Ahmed Mora, has said they need to look into the activities of pharmacy practitioners in the country was important given the lives of people involved.
To this end, he has inaugurated a seven-member committee to clean activities of the practitioners, who had operated in the last five years without such body.
Mora, in his speech at the event, in Abuja, insisted that the need to check the activities of pharmacists was “more imperative taking into consideration the issue of life and death with respect to the practice of pharmacy profession.”
But he warned members of the panel against compromise, saying their activities must be above board no matter the temptation they may face while performing their responsibilities.
The investigating panel, he said, “will investigate those erring members of the profession, clear them before presenting to the Disciplinary Tribunal.”
He insisted that the panel must resist every temptation to derail in its mandate especially when treating cases involving members’ “former classmates, schoolmates, friends, associate or acquaintances” even as he imployed them “to gather intelligence before starting any investigation and keep statistics especially in an institution where the majority of the pharmacists are found.”
Noting that, “In all organizations, especially those of professional nature such as the PCN, there are bound to be deviants among the members whose actions or activities may not be consonant with the core objectives behind the setting up of the organization”, Prof. Mora said the pharmacy was not an exception.
“The need for a panel to look into the activities of the practitioners of the profession is even more imperative taking into consideration the issue of life and death with respect to the practice of pharmacy profession,” he stated, adding that: “Members of the pharmacy profession licensed by the PCN and who had been inducted to serve mankind must be seen to act above board and conform to the ethics of the profession and the Code of Conduct expected of every registered and licensed pharmacist.”
“The investigating panel is therefore a very important panel whose activities will go a long way in cleansing the practice of the pharmacy professionals and make delivery of pharmaceutical services to the citizenry safe.
“Whether in manufacturing, importation, community, hospital practice, in the academia or in pharmaceutical research, the conduct of the pharmacist as a healthcare
professional must be without question.
“A pharmacist must be above board, without any iota of professional misconduct and he or she must serve as a role model to the younger pharmacists as well as be a team player among other members of the healthcare team,” he noted
Mora said:” In the academia and research Institutes, a pharmacist should be a willing and highly ethically-minded collaborator and peer.”
According to him,” It is within these premises that the Governing Council deemed it necessary in considering and approving your appointment on this very important Panel.”
“A dimension worthy of mention at this inauguration is the conduct of your good selves as members of the Panel.
“You all must be seen to be above board too, either in your public and private conduct as pharmacists though the Council has no doubt about your individual integrity and professionalism,” he charged members.
While further noting that,” the profession of pharmacy has the same element and criteria as other professions as a body of specialized knowledge; a registration body; licensure to practice; administration of oath; ethics in practice; altruistic motivation; continuous professional development;life-like learning” among others, the PCN boss insisted that: “Every pharmacy registered and licensed by the PCN is expected to exhibit the above elements fully.”
“While expecting these attributes from pharmacists, the panel must distinguish registered and licensed pharmacists by the PCN from fake pharmacists, for which the panel need not waste its time as those are for the Nigeria Police Force to handle,” he further charged.
“There is no denying the fact that in carrying out your responsibilities as a panel, you would be confronted with a huge backlog of cases that would need to be looked into as it was five years since the last investigating panel set to investigate erring members of the profession; possibility of being compromised, which must be resisted at every point; likelihood of having to investigate former classmates, schoolmates, friends, associates or acquaintances.
“However, the law of the land is supreme and the job must be carried out no matter whose ox is gored; the possible dilemma of the subject nature of the assignment in deciding whether to forward cases to the disciplinary tribunal, or let it rest at the investigative panel,” he said.
Members of the panel are Pharmacist Yakubu Akawu; Pharmacist Umar Garba Gumau; Pharmacist Edith Egbuonu; Prof. Moses Akanmu; Prof. Garba Uthman Sadiq; Pharmacist Ifraimu Irimiya Kifasi and Pharmacist Williams Etubiebi.