Economic recession: Robbers now target pharmacy shops for drugs

A new dimension has been introduced into the scarcity of essential drugs in the country as robbers now invade pharmacy shops to steal drugs.

Prices of drugs for life-threatening diseases have gone up in recent weeks due to the scarcity of foreign exchange to import them and the fall in the value of the naira.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Oyo State branch, on Friday, described as unwholesome, the now regular invasion of its members’ shops by robbers looking for drugs to steal.

Chairman, PSN, Oyo State, Mr Adeyinka Ishola, made the declaration at a press conference to flag off the association’s 2016 Pharmacy Week and World Pharmacists Day celebration in Ibadan on Friday.

Ishola stated: “it is a recent development where they start going to pharmacy shops to steal drugs. Before, they only stole money and other electronics. That they now come in to steal drugs shows the desperate situation we are now in.”

The PSN boss stated that the robbers were taking many prescription drugs which they most likely would not know its usage or usefulness, adding, “they are likely to sell them at ridiculous prices.”

He, however, stated that members of the association are already putting in safety measures to checkmate the activities of these robbers said to come in the evening time and on motorcycles.

Ishola also decried the non-availability of some drugs even when individuals have the money to purchase despite the fact that they are expensive, urging the Federal government to give concession on foreign exchange to drug manufacturers.

According to him: “This will ensure that they can bring in consignment of raw materials for production to cushion the effect of the recession so that the issue of drug syndrome or non-availability of drugs can be mitigated.”

However, Mr Ishola assured that as the theme of the 2016 Pharmacy Week and World Pharmacists Day celebration suggested, pharmacy practice was much more than drug dispense but includes care of patients.

He declared: “medicine is the heart of health care profession. Pharmacists are committed to improve global health by advancing pharmacy practice and service to enable better discovery, development, access to and safe use of appropriate, cost effective, quality medicines in the best interest of the patients.”