From Dan Sule-Jalingo
In its effort to ensure all illegal medicine stores are sealed across the country, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria PCN has arrested thirteen illegal medicine dealers in Taraba state.
One of the objectives of the new National Drug Distribution Guidelines is to ensure that medicines remain safe, effective and of good quality as they transit from one level of the distribution chain to another until they finally get to the patients and other end users across the nation.
The Director enforcement of the Organization Pharmacist Stephen Esumobi, Fsi, who disclosed this to newsmen in Jalingo, the state capital said one of the identified weaknesses in the distribution chain of medicine is the proliferation of illegal medicine stores.
He explained that, most of these premises do not have appropriate storage facilities thus exposing medicines to adverse environmental factors that degrade them and make them unsuitable for human consumption.
“One of the identified weaknesses in the distribution chain is the proliferation of illegal medicine stores”.
“Most of these premises do not have appropriate storage facilities thus exposing medicines to adverse environmental factors that degrade them and make them unsuitable for human consumption”.
Pharmacist Esumobi maintained that these illegal outlets do not have pharmacists to supervise the dispensing of medicines to the public.
“This has contributed to irrational dispensing of medicines resulting in treatment failures and untoward effects on patients and other unsuspecting members of the public who patronize them”. .
“Also the activities of these illegal outlets tend to encourage the abuse and misuse of controlled medicines with the attendant negative social and security implications”.
According to him, as a result of the PCN intervention, some premises upgraded their facilities to meet conditions for storage of medicines while others have employed pharmacists to supervise pharmaceutical activities.
He pointed out that some of the owners of premises who refused to comply with guidelines broke the PCN seals and continued with their illegal activities.
These premises are located in Jalingo, Wukari, Bali and Zing local government areas of the state.
Pharmacist Stephen Esumobi called on the public to always ensure that the medicine stores they patronizes are registered and have a genuine Pharmacists.
The PCN Director Enforcement however, explained that the prompted follow-up enforcement visit to Taraba state was jointly carried out with the officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC in the state.