*PCN wants Nigerians to demand registration status of drugs facilities
*‘Drugs sold in non-licence facilities can’t be guaranteed for quality, efficacy’
Apparently taking a proactive action to curb the menace of fake drugs in the country, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has disclosed that 321 pharmaceutical stores in 28 states of the federation have been sealed over alleged cases of quackery, non-compliance with regulatory laws and lack of registered personnel to handle medicines in their premises.
The PCN also stated that a total of 427 pharmaceutical premises and Pay Per Million Volume stores (PPMVs) were visited by its inspection and monitoring team with 36 pharmacies and 285 Pay Per Million Volume stores (PPMVs) sealed over alleged improper handling of controlled substances, unhygienic Environment and poor documentation and dispensing ethical/prescription drugs without presence of a pharmacist.
The PCN Director, Inspection and Monitoring, Mrs. Anthonia Iruya, who confirmed the development during a media briefing on Friday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, said though 13 pharmacies were given compliance directives for various offences, the inspection tour and sealing of affected pharmaceutical stores is the first phase of the process and further action will follow in due course.
She said the PCN observed during a field tour of Bayelsa State that while many people go into sale of medicine without following due process, “others do not have the requisite knowledge or skills to handle all categories of medicine”.
“The PPMVs on the other hand are by law restricted to handle over the counter drugs (OTC) that have proven safety margin,” she added.
She also called on the general public to always ask for the registration status of facilities by requesting for licences from pharmaceutical outlets to safeguard themselves from patronising quacks.
She noted that it is required by law for all pharmaceutical facilities to register with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and to ensure continuous licensure of same to legally key into the drug distribution value chain.
“The implication of non-licence is the fact that drugs sold in such facilities cannot be guaranteed to have same quality and efficacy as set by the manufacturer since the unregistered facilities have not been subjected to regulatory control that will promote the maintenance of integrity of such products down the value chain,” Iruya stated.