By; KENNETH ORUSI, Asaba
The Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN), has said that the federal government agency has arrested 10 pharmacists and Patent Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs), over offences ranging from improper handling of controlled substances, unhygienic environment, poor documentation and dispensing of ethical/prescription drugs with the presence of a pharmacist.
The Director, Inspection and Monitoring, Pharm (Mrs) Anthonia Aruya, gave the revelation Friday, during a press briefing in Asaba, noting that the 33rd outing of the council covering about 28 states, in Delta, a total 212 premises were visited, comprising 52 pharmacies and 160 PPMVs, 165 premises were sealed comprising of 21 pharmacists and 144 PPMVs, “seven compliance directives were issued comprising five pharmacists and two PPMVs for various offences ranging from improper handling of controlled substances, unhygienic environment, poor documentation and dispensing of ethical/prescription drugs without the presence of a pharmacists”.
She lamented the unprofessional behaviour, that observation from the field in Delta State revealed that “many people go into the sale of medicines without following due process, others do not have the requisite knowledge or skills to handle medicines in their premises or are operating beyond their approved scope, some persons that were not permitted by law to handle controlled substances were found to stock and sell such products in disregard to the law further endangering the public”.
According to her, a good number did not understand the laws and guidelines in the pharmaceutical landscape thereby misleading other stakeholders or operating in ignorance that is not tenable.
Aruya, hinted that it was the first phase of activities of PCN, geared at streamlining the drug distribution system in the state, vowing that further action would follow in due course as PCN is committed to the provision of good pharmaceutical services to the good people of the state.
The Director, Inspection and Monitoring, advised the public to source drugs need from registered pharmacy outlets and over the counter medicines from registered PPMV shops as drugs sold in unregistered outlets cannot be guaranteed to be genuine.
She pointed out that pharmaceutical facilities that are not registered by PCN have not subjected to regulatory control that would promote the maintenance of the integrity of such products down the chain, “medicines from such facilities cannot be guaranteed to have the same quality, efficacy and safety as set by the manufacturers”.
She added that the law requires that all pharmaceutical facilities where drugs are manufactured, sold, warehoused, distributed be registered by PCN and ensure continuous licensure of same to legally key into the drug distribution chain.