The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has sealed up 216 drug outlets comprising 30 pharmacies and 186 patent medicine stores, for offences ranging from operating without registration, failure to renew premises licenses and dispensing ethical drugs without supervision of pharmacists.
The Director and Head of Inspection and Monitoring, PCN, Anthonia Aruya, who disclosed this to pressmen, said 43 other outlets were issued compliance directives for poor sanitary conditions and poor documentation, among others.
Aruya said on the whole, 356 pharmaceutical outlets consisting of 222 patent medicine stores and 134 pharmacies during the exercise carried for a week by the PCN enforcement team in parts of Lagos not covered in the last exercise held in August.
Aruya declared that the PCN was determined to uphold the laws that regulate the practice of pharmacy in Nigeria, stressing that the Federal Government would not tolerate the indiscriminate sale of drugs without submission to regulatory control.
Furthermore, she urged the public to purchase their medicines from licensed pharmacies and simple household remedies from licensed patent and propriety medicines vendor shops.
Aruya also urged those intending to carry out pharmaceutical business to get in touch with the PCN head office or any of the state offices for proper guidance.
“Before a pharmaceutical premises commences operation, it must fulfil certain conditions in line with the PCN guidelines. First, the premises is expected to apply for location approval. This is because not every location is suitable for Pharmaceutical business. When the location is approved, the necessary structure would then be put in place for facility inspection.”
She said the facility inspection is carried out to ensure that the right storage environment in terms of temperature, relative humidity and proper hygiene is maintained to preserve the pharmacological and pharmacokinetic integrity of the medicines.
“The inspection ensures that other conditions that will promote good pharmaceutical services delivery are in place. Also the premises are expected to have a pharmacist to supervise the dispensing of ethical products to members of the public.