By Titus Akhigbe, Benin
With the alarming rate of fake drugs, drug abuse and misuse, health professionals under the aegis of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) on Tuesday tasked the President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently assent to the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria bill.
The association made this submission in a statement signed by the Edo state Chairman of the association, Felix Ndiukwu, in Benin city.
According to the association, the bill after being passed is suffering an undefined motion between the Presidency and the National Assembly for corrections.
While lamenting on the increasing alarm of drug abuse ravaging the society and infiltration of fake and substandard medications in the country, the association revealed that the bill when signed into law will address the scourge of drug abuse, increase satellite pharmacies as well as improve access to pharmaceutical care in Nigeria.
“While various organs at various levels of the pharmacy profession in Nigeria continues to engage government at the Presidency and the National Assembly, community pharmacists raise their voices today over all the red tapes to implore the president to save the pharmacy bill from imminent death by the machinations of our collective enemies of progress.
“This bill when signed into law will, among other things, be a potent weapon in the fight against drug and substance abuse which Mr. President takes seriously. It will address the menace of uncoordinated drug distribution and ensure a proper audit trail that can track the movement of drugs from any source to any point in the chain of distribution or backwards, from any point to the source thereby quickening the trace of sources of injurious medicines.
“Furthermore, the concept of satellite pharmacies enshrined in the bill will increase access to quality pharmaceutical services as outlets are projected to expand from 5, 000 to 100, 000 to cover the hinterlands,” he added.
Also speaking, the Vice Chairman of the association, Daniel Ajayi, while reiterating the call for Buhari to assent to the bill, however, noted that the law will empower the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) to be able to carry out their duties more effectively and equally strengthen them.