Some parts of Lagos still host illegal medicine outlets —PCN

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The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria has said some parts of Lagos State have continued to be hotbeds of activities of illegal medicine dealers.

“These include Satellite Town, Ojo, Ijesha, Ilasamaja, Ijora, Badiya, Ajegunle, Kirikiri, Alaba, Okokomaiko, New Era Town, Ajamgbadi, Morogbo, Ijanikin, Badagary, Dopemu, Agege, Ipaja, Igando, Orile-Iganmu and Ikotun,” Deputy Director (Enforcement) of PCN, Mr. Stephen Esumobi, has said.

Speaking at a press conference where he gave details of the Council’s enforcement activities, Esumobi noted that in general, there has been improvement in compliance with the laws regulating the setting-up and operating of pharmacies in Lagos State, adding that following some operators’ compliance with laid down rules, activities had resumed in some pharmaceutical premises that were sealed off in the past enforcement activities in the state.

“Some of the premises have improved on their storage facilities, while some others have engaged the services of pharmacists to supervise the dispensing of ethical products, thus necessitating their registration to offer pharmaceutical services to the public,” Esumobi said.

He disclosed that the Council carried out enforcement activities in Lagos State between Monday, October 30 and Thursday, November 2, 2017 as a follow-up to the earlier ones.

He also said PCN’s enforcement activities had been ongoing in other states of the federation, including Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Ebonyi, Kwara, Benue, Delta, Oyo, Ekiti, Osun, Abuja, Nassarawa, Cross Rivers, Ogun, Kaduna, Taraba, Edo and Enugu.

Others are Abia, Zamfara and Kogi states, he noted.

Esumobi, however, lamented that despite the improvement observed in some parts of Lagos State, information available indicated that the activities of illegal medicine dealers have been on the increase in some other parts of the state.

Continuing, Esumobi said, “Many pharmaceutical premises in the aforementioned areas commenced operations without fulfilling the minimum requirements for registration, while others failed to renew their licences.

“Some of the owners of these premises lack the requisite knowledge to handle the products in their shops.

“In so many cases, drugs are exposed to environmental conditions that alter their pharmacological and pharmacokinetic profiles, thus making them unsuitable for human consumption.

“Unfortunately, these products are freely sold to unsuspecting members of the public, thereby endangering their health.”

Esumobi assured that the enforcement exercise was a continuation of PCN’s efforts to reverse the trend and improve on the quality of pharmaceutical services delivery to the people of Lagos State.

“Owners of unregistered facilities have been visiting the Lagos zonal office of the PCN to register or renew their registration since the commencement of the exercise.

“The PCN is making every effort to promptly attend to them and ensure that their facilities meet minimum requirements, in line with laid down regulations,” he enthused.

He disclosed that at the end of the enforcement exercise in Lagos State, a total of 346 premises comprising pharmacies, patent medicine shops and illegal medicine shops were visited.

“A total of 209 premises made up of 21 pharmacies, 145 illegal medicine shops and 43 patent medicine stores were sealed for various offences such as operating without registering with PCN, failure to renew premises’ license, dispensing ethical products without the supervision of a pharmacist, poor storage and sanitary conditions, among others,” Esumobi said.

He warned that the PCN could not guarantee that drugs sold in unregistered outlets would be of the same integrity as specified by the manufacturers, since retailers have not submitted to regulations that ensure maintenance of appropriate standards for handling such products.

He advised members of the public to purchase their medicines from licensed pharmacies, and simple household remedies from licensed patent and propriety medicine shops.

“Those intending to start pharmaceutical business should get in touch with the PCN’s head office or any of the PCN state and zonal offices for proper guidance,” Esumobi counselled.

Culled from here

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