…set to tackle spread of hard drugs
By Ibrahim Wuyo
Chairman, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Prof. Ahmed Mora, has said that the spate of insecurity across Nigeria and other vices have been blamed on easy access to psychotropic drugs by the youth.
He said the youths could easily pick these addictive drugs across the counter to abuse them even without prescription.
As a result of these ugly trend ,PCN has embarked on regulation of controlled and psychotropic drugs, as well as identifying fake drugs through the planned electronic registration of manufactured and imported drugs,he said.
He made it known while speaking to journalists in Kaduna on Monday during a One Day Sensitisation Workshop to Kick-start Implementation of Pharmacist Consultant Cadre in Nigeria.
He added that the electronic registration of pharmacies would ensure that drugs are regulated and addictive and psychotropic drugs become inaccessible without prescription, while drugs outside the system will be known as fake drugs.
“We have gone far in the regulation of controlled drugs and pharmaceutical preparations containing addictive substances to ensure that they cannot be dispensed over the counter like that without prescription from a doctor and during the dispensing of these drugs, there is a poison disposal register.”
“Pharmacists Council of Nigeria is working to ensure that all the outlets of pharmaceutical products, that is the source of manufacturing and importation through wholesale to the retailers, that is community pharmacies and wholesale pharmacies are captured electronically.”
“Once that is done, it will ensure that only properly manufactured and imported pharmaceutical products are distributed within the system. Anything outside the system is a fake drug. So, we are going electronic. We are going to ensure that, products that are not manufactured within licensed premises, imported by the licensed importer and those that have addictive properties are properly distributed through the distribution channel electronically.”
“Aside from codeine that we all know, there are other psychotropic substances that cannot just be dispensed over the counter because they have addictive tendencies. So, with this consultant cadre, more emphasis will be put on this to ensure these drugs are dispensed properly.”
Speaking on Nigeria’s readiness to produce a Covid-19 vaccine, Mora said Nigeria has the capacity to produce a vaccine and efforts are ongoing. “I am supposed to be attending a conference at Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, where I am a Professor and a member of the Igbinedion University Teaching Hospital, where we are having the first-ever conference towards developing African vaccine for COVID-19.”
“The consultancy cadre as approved by the Federal Government for the Fellows of the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists will bring about recognition of competencies, skills and expertise of these fellows to be deployed in the healthcare facilities. Before there was no recognition but now, with the recognition given by the Head of Service, the Fellows will now be recognized and remunerated as consultants.”
The Registrar, Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, Dr Elijah Mohammed said with the coming of the cadre, they have to all work together. “The members of the team have to come together. The major challenge is that individuals have refused to recognize other. So with the consultancy cadre coming up, misinformation, misunderstanding is the major challenges we are going to face. So we need to now educate others,” he said.