Lagos seals off 37 illegal pharmacies

Again, the Lagos State government has sealed off 37 pharmacies in its bid to stamp out proliferation of illegal pharmaceutical outlets.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Healthcare, Dr Olufemi Onanuga, disclosed this in a statememt after a recent raid of Ikorodu Local Government Area by the State Task force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods, in conjunction with representatives of National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria Federal Taskforce and Officers of the State Rapid Respond Squad (RRS).

Onanuga said 37 out of 49 outlets visited in Ikorodu Central, Agric, Agbede, Ita-Oluwo, Eyita, Odongunyan, Igbogbo, Itamaga and Ijede were sealed off for various offences ranging from engaging quacks, operating beyond their scope through sales of unethical products and dispensing drugs to unsuspecting citizens of the state.

Other offenders include illegal operators of unregistered premises, who displayed and stored drugs in an unconducive environment.

According to Onanuga, the sealing off of the pharmacies and patent medicine stores was in accordance with the provision of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provision) Act of 1999, Number 25.

“Licensed patent medicine vendors are authorised to sell only drug products in their original packs in approved pack size as produced by the manufacturing companies. The law prohibits dispensing and wholesaling of drugs by patent medicine vendors,”  he remarked.

It will be recalled that the task force had earlier sealed off over 40 illegal pharmaceutical outlets.

He warned also that the activities of the state task force on fake drugs would be sustained until operators in the sector adhered strictly to the provisions of the law on the operation of pharmacies and patent medicine stores, in order to safeguard the health of the citizens of the state.

He stated that an investigative meeting would be held on Thursday, September 8, 2016 at the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit of the ministry where members of the task force would meet with owners of the sealed premises to make further enquires on the status of the sealed premises and notify them of the procedures and appropriate conditions to be met for reopening, in line with regulations, and payment of administrative fee to the state government.