Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) said it has sealed the premises of 380 illegal pharmacies and patent medicine stores during its facility inspection and enforcement exercise in Edo state.
The Council’s Director of Inspection and Monitoring, Mrs. Anthonia O. Aruya, disclosed this in Benin City while briefing journalists on the enforcement carried out in Benin metropolis by the council.
Aruya said those sealed 380 businesses during the exercise were made up of 38 illegal Pharmacies and 270 Patient Medicine stores, adding that the aim was to sanitise the drug distribution chain in the country.
According to her, the sealed-up were for various offences, ranging from failure to renew premises license, dispensing ethical products without the supervision of pharmacists and poor sanitary condition among others.
She said, “Pharmacists Council of Nigeria cannot guarantee that drugs sold in unregistered outlets are of the same integrity as specified by the manufacturers since they have not submitted to the regulation that ensure maintenance of minimum standard for handling such products”.
Aruya also noted that the inspection was carried out to ensure that the right storage environment was maintained to preserve the pharmacological and pharmacokinetic integrity of medicines.
“We observed in Edo that many premises are operating without registration while others failed to renew their license. Some of them store products in environment where quality, safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products cannot be guarantee”, she stated.
The PCN Director of Inspection and Monitoring, added that operators of these sealed premises did not have the requisite knowledge on how to handle highly ethical drugs, saying the exercise was to revise the ugly trend and improved on service delivery.
She said the enforcement was a corrective measure to do the right thing, noting that if not checked, they could be carrying out business detrimental to the public.
“Those who complied with the council after the exercise would be trained and enlightened on drug administration while other who failed to comply would be prosecuted,” she said.
The council therefore advised the public to purchase medicines from a licensed pharmacies and patient medicines vendor shops, seeking collaboration with security agents in ensuring sanity in drug distributing system.