Lagos govt seals 52 patent medicine shops, pharmacies

LAGOS State Government says it has sealed 52 pharmacies, patent medicine shops and unlicensed premises across the state.

Dr Titilayo Goncalves, Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Health, said in a statement that the sealed outlets were located in Isolo, Egbeda, Ikotun, Bariga, Somolu, Oshodi-Isolo and Alimosho areas of the state.

Goncalves said that the facilities were sealed by the state Task Force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods for offences bordering on illegal operation, operating beyond the scope, among others.

“The affected pharmacies and patent medicine shops indulged in the practice of operating without a licence, engaging unqualified persons to man and dispense drugs to unsuspecting citizens.

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“Also, they were operating beyond the scope through the sale of ethical products and displaying and storing drugs in unconducive environments which compromise the potency and integrity of the drugs rendering them ineffective.

“Although some of the pharmacies visited were registered, it is disheartening to note that quite a number of them have no qualified pharmacists on duty and displayed expired drugs for sale to the public,” she said.

She added that the sealing of the affected pharmacies and patent medicine stores was in accordance with the provisions of Section C34 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods Miscellaneous Provision Act of 1999, No. 25.

The permanent secretary said that licenced patent medicine vendors were authorised to sell only drug products in their original packs, and in approved pack sizes as produced by the manufacturing companies.

She said that the activities of the task force on fake drugs would be sustained and intensified until operators in the sector adhered strictly to the provisions of the law in order to safeguard the health of the citizenry.

Also, the Director, Pharmaceutical Services in the ministry, Dr Moyosore Adejumo, said that the state government would not relent in its efforts to stop the inherent dangers associated with the operations from unlicenced pharmaceutical outlets and drug shops.

Adejumo said that the task force, through the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit (PIU) of the Pharmaceutical Services Directorate, had been re-energised.

According to her, this is to intensify the ongoing war against fake, expired and substandard drugs being peddled by unlicensed and illegal premises.

“This closure is thus part of the government’s renewed efforts to sanitise the drug distribution system and curb proliferation of fake drugs in the state.

“An investigative meeting would be held with owners of the sealed premises to make further inquiries on the status of the sealed premises.

“Also, to notify them of the procedures and appropriate conditions to be met for reopening in line with the government regulations and payment of administrative fee,” Adejumo said.

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