Pharmacists’ council seals 469 pharmacies in Bauchi
- Warns against frequenting unlicensed pharmacies and patent drug stores
The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria said it has sealed off as many as 469 unlicensed patent drug stores and pharmacies in 18 local government areas of Bauchi state, including those selling substandard drugs or engaging in clinical services.
The Director and Head of Law Enforcement Department, National Headquarters, Abuja, Stephen Esumobi, who revealed this during a press conference held on Thursday at the Council’s North East Zone office in Bauchi, has said stores would remain closed until they meet the minimum requirements.
He said that the PCN, as a parastatal agency of the federal government, was responsible for regulating the education, training and practice of pharmacy in all its aspects and ramifications, as established by the Pharmacists’ Council Act. of Nigeria, Cap p17, LFN, 2004 (formerly Decree 91 of 1992).
Esumobi said the NCP enforcement team visited some premises in some local government areas of the state in 2019 and sealed off some of them which were operating without registration with the Council and those registered which did not. not renew their certificates.
He noted that the owners of the sealed premises were given the opportunity to fulfill the registration requirements, pointing out that after most of them fulfilled the registration requirements, their premises were made public.
According to him, the Board has worked to educate patent medicine sellers and other drug dealers on the need to continue to comply with regulations in the interest of public health, adding that during orientation and ongoing training, vendors learned how to manage simple household chores (over-the-counter medications) to ensure the products remain safe, effective and of good quality throughout their lifetime.
“Despite the efforts of PCN, many locals have returned to their old ways due to financial gain. While some premises have taken steps to operate in accordance with regulations, many others have chosen to operate in violation of them. Many products in these wandering premises may no longer be fit for human consumption due to improper handling. Exposure of these products to adverse environmental factors such as high temperatures, humidity and direct sunlight could compromise their quality, safety and effectiveness.
“It is in light of the above that the Council had no choice but to close these premises during the current national enforcement exercise. The local government areas visited are: Bauchi, Toro, Katagum, Alkaleri, Kirfi, Misau, Zaki, Gamawa, Giade, Shira, Jamaare, Itas, Ganjuwa, Ningi, Dass, Tafawa Balewa, Bogoro and Darazo.
“At the end of the exercise, a total of five hundred and ninety eight (598) premises were visited. This includes five hundred and fifty-seven (557) Patent Medicine Shops (PMS) and forty-one (41) Pharmacies. A total of four hundred and sixty nine (469) premises were sealed off including twenty three (23) pharmacies and four hundred and forty six (446) patent drug stores. Thirteen (13) compliance directives were issued for various violations such as poor sanitary conditions, poor documentation and failure to display annual premises and pharmacists licenses.
“It is against the guidelines for patent medicine stores to engage in clinical services because they do not have the capacity to handle some of these cases and when there are side effects from these drugs, they do not don’t have the facilities to handle them. ,” he stated.
The director who warned that “any manufacturer who sells drugs to an unauthorized dealer has committed a very serious offense and will be prosecuted if discovered”, stressed that the Council had done its best to limit the threat, but lamented that “when you block them this way they find another way, it requires continued enforcement and monitoring, which is what we will continue to do.
He added: “We are trying to encourage them to do what is necessary to ensure that our people have access to safe, effective and good quality medicines, but for those who are recalcitrant, their premises will remain closed. There are so many cases where we have charged people in court in some states, but for Bauchi State, it hasn’t reached that level yet.
“Peddlers are not allowed and we don’t license them because if we give you a license you have to be in a place where every time we come to that place we can inspect and find out what is going on there at some time. Again it’s a crime to train apprentices and also a crime for minors to sell drugs so when we come to premises and find some we shut them down because they don’t know about these medications.
Esumobi advised the public to source all their drug needs from registered and currently licensed pharmacies and over-the-counter drugs from patent drug stores, as drugs sold at unregistered outlets could not be guaranteed safe for consumption.
“The dangers of frequenting these premises without a license and taking substandard drugs are obvious, when someone is sick and is being treated with substandard drugs, it will lead to treatment failure and the patient will die.
“Secondly, most of these drugs break down and become less potent or they are transformed into other biologically active substances, many of which could be toxic to the kidneys, liver and other vital organs. It is therefore very dangerous to using substandard drugs,” he warned.
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