.End of road for illegal online pharmacies

By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta

The Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) has sealed up no fewer than 342 pharmacies, as well as Patient Medicine Shops (PMS) in the last week in Ogun State for contravening the laid-down storage and safety protocols in the business of drugs distribution system in the country.

The PCN also arrested one person who allegedly specialized in collecting money meant for premises registration and renewal from unsuspecting stakeholders in the drug distribution chain in the state and issued them with fake remittal receipts.

The PCN Head of enforcement Department, Pharm. Stephen Esumobi, who disclosed these to newsmen in Abeokuta, the state capital, explained that the affected pharmacies and PMS centers flouted the council’s 19 compliance directives, which are the minimum standards for storage of medicines in the country.

The offences according to Esumobi, included: operating without registration or renewal of premises certificate; unauthorized sales of substances of abuse; poor sanitary; poor storage as well as operating without a certified superintendent pharmacist among other directives for venturing into the business of drugs distribution.

He disclosed that the enforcement exercise, which commenced in Monday 19th September, 2022 spanned a period of four days and was simultaneously carried out by its taskforce across the three senatorial districts of the state.

Esumobi emphasized that the affected pharmacies and PMS centers would have a window period of 30 days within which to regularize their status for remaining in the business of drugs distribution, while his Council will provide the needed assistance for those affected centers to enable them evacuate drugs that have low safety margins.

While reiterating that PCN was not interested in chasing any vendor and dealer out of business, but encourage them to always engage in the best standard practice, Esumobi however, declared that PCN would not hesitate to apply the full wrath of the law against any recalcitrant vendor.

According to him, PCN has two standing committees on ground in the state which responsibility is to engage in continuous monitoring and follow up inspections of those pharmacies and medicine shops.

Esumobi, said the suspect will be charged to court very soon.

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