Drug Counterfeiting: Experts call for comprehensive national Intellectual Property policy

…Over non-remittance of money to manufacturers

By Joseph Erunke

THE Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, PCN, has begun trial of three pharmacists accused of falling short of the conduct and ethics of the pharmacy profession.

The trio, said to be pharmaceutical representatives of drugs manufacturing companies, allegedly failed to remit large amounts of money realised from drugs released to them for sale.

A disciplinary committee of PCN arraigned the accused shortly after inauguration on Friday evening at the council’s headquarters in Abuja.

Speaking to journalists on the development, the Chairman of Governing Council of Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Prof. Ahmed Mora, warned pharmacists in Nigeria against unwholesome practices, reiterating that anyone found wanting would not be spared from facing the long arm of the law, no matter his position in the society.

Mora, who did not provide the names of the accused, explained that the tribunal was not a criminal one but bothered on professional misconduct, adding that the consequences of the offence could be delisting of offenders from pharmaceutical business.

READ ALSO: Drugs distribution: PCN disciplinary panel begins trial of 3 pharmacists

“A tribunal has been inaugurated and has started hearing. I assure you that before the end of the year, we are going to sit again to make a pronouncement on the sentence on one case and continue with the trial of others.  We do not expect pharmacists to fall short of code of conduct and ethics of the profession,” he said.

According to him, the cases being handled by the tribunal are “those of fraud, of some pharmacists not remitting amounts of drugs given to them   to sell or to market in large amounts after periodic requests by those who own those premises ( pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesalers).

“These premises have what we call pharmaceutical representatives or medical representatives. Usually, they are given large consignment of pharmaceutical products to market.”

“So, in all these cases, it appeared that these drugs have been sold but they have not remitted the money to the manufacturers or the wholesalers, prompting petitions to PCN.’’

Mora, who also explained that the tribunal was unable to sit for six years, explained further that the action was not deliberate.

He warned:  “The inability of the tribunal to sit for six years was not deliberate,it was because there was no governing council in place.

“Now with the governing council in place, we now have the disciplinary committee of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria and there is no limitations on the number of times that it sits. It depends on the cases referred to it from the investigative panel.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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