PCN seals off 321 pharmacies, medicine stores in Bayelsa

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Simon Utebor, Yenagoa

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria says the council has sealed off 321 pharmacies and patent medicine stores in Bayelsa State.

The council said the development was part of its renewed efforts to entrench minimum standards, save the public from great danger of quacks and ensure that the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines are maintained down the distribution lines.

Other reasons, for sealing the outlets, according to the PCN, include the non-compliance with regulatory laws and lack of registered personnel to handle medicines on their premises.

The Director, Inspection and Monitoring, PCN, Mrs. Anthonia Aruya, said at a news briefing on Friday after inspection of pharmaceutical and medicine stores across the state, said it was observed that people went into dealing in medicines without following due process.

Aruya said, “At the end of the exercise,  a total of 427 premises comprising 71 pharmacies, 356 patent and propriety medicines vendors stores were visited, 321 premises were sealed, comprising of 36 pharmacies, 285 PPMVs.

“Thirteen premises, comprising seven PPMVs and six pharmacies were given compliance directives for various offences ranging from improper handling of controlled substances, unhygienic environment and poor documentation, dispensing ethical/prescription drugs without the presence of a pharmacist.”

She also revealed that many people went into the sale of medicine without having the requisite knowledge or skills to handle all categories of medicine.

She added that the PPMVs on the other hand are by law restricted to handle over-the-counter drugs that have proven safety margin.

She 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.

Aruya further said, “This is the first phase of streamlining the distribution system in Bayelsa State. Further actions will follow in due course since the PCN is committed to full compliance to the National Drug Distribution System.

“The general public is advised to source its drug need from registered pharmacy outlets and over the counter drugs from registered PPMV shops as drugs sold in unregistered outlets cannot be guaranteed to be genuine.”

She equally noted that it is required by law for all pharmaceutical facilities to register with the PCN and to ensure continuous licensing of same to legally key into the drug distribution value chain.

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