Patent drug dealers protest alleged shop closure by PCN

No fewer than 1,000 members of the Nigerian Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED), on Thursday, stormed major streets in Ibadan, protesting alleged illegal closure of their shops by some officials of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN).

The patent drug dealers, who assembled in front of the Customary Court, Foko, Ibadan South West Local Government Area, Ibadan, carrying placards with various inscriptions said the decision of PCN to close their shops was a flagrant violation of a Federal High Court judgment delivered on September 24, 1996 in Lagos, which did not authorise the organisation to issue license to and do not have right to challenge the licence of NAPPMED members.

They described the incessant closure of their shops and business premises by PCN as an act of “illegality and contempt of court.”

Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “The former Inspector General of Police is aware of the position. He gave the order before that police must not join hands with the PCN in a matter that is subjudice,” “PCN should abide by the existing court judgment,” “NAPPMED says no to Pharmacists,” “PCN stop closing our members’ shops,” “Pharmacists Stop Harassing NAPPMED members.”

Others read: “The Federal Ministry of Health cannot delegate its power to another body (see Judge I.N. Auta’s judgement),” and “NAFDAC has been very busy checking our shops throughout the country and we have been licensed to operate,” among others.

The Chairman, Board of Trustee, NAPPMED, Apostle Moses Alebiowu, while addressing newsmen, argued that members of the association were complementing the development of health care delivery system in the country; hence PCN could not stop the practice of patent dealership.

According to him, “it is the responsibility of the federal Ministry of Health to issue members license which was renewable annually.”