NIGERIAN Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED) in Nasarawa state said part of its set goal target is to register 1000 non-members into the association across the state.
The Vice President of the association in the state, Mr Ken Nnebeana, stated this in an interview with newsmen in Lafia on Wednesday.
According to him, the goal will be achieved through effective and constant sensitisation to non-members especially in the grassroots on the importance and benefits of joining the association with a view to lessening the risk of residents in the state patronizing unregistered or quack medicine dealers.
He added, “In my estimation, we have more than 2000 patent medicine vendors in the state and before now, we had about just 500 or so that are duly registered but I can tell you as of now, we have about 1000 members duly registered and guided on the professional ethics of the job.
“This year, our goal is to work round the clock to get about 1000 non-members registered in 2019 not because they are adding anything to the association but so that we will monitor their activities to see that they toe along the line, the good path of delivering quality services to Nigerians.”
He further stressed that registering non members will benefit both the public and the association as the new members will easily be constantly inspected by the association and will be properly orientated on the importance of adhering to the ethics of the profession so as to strengthen public trust, deliver quality services to the public and attract high patronage.
Nnebeana also said that the association will intensify sensitisation to old members to refresh their memories on proper conduct and collaborate closely with sister bodies and government health establishments to improve on the successes made in 2018 in mopping up fake drugs and checkmating quack patent medicine sellers in the state.
“We have a wonderful relationship with other stakeholders like National Agency for Food, Drugs, Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN) among others and we plan to sustain and strengthen the partnership to achieve our mutual goals and rid our society of quack patent medicine sellers and fake drugs.
“Intact, every two to three years, we do what we call continuous education with PCN just to update us on the new development in the sector. Equally NAFDAC, from time to time, we do workshops with them just to give us new information we are supposed to know on activities of NAFDAC, what we are supposed to do and not do,” he said.
He then assured that NAPPMED in the state will work assiduously to ensure that members do not flout the ban placed on drugs like codeine so that drug addicts do not have an opportunity to purchase and patronise the banned drugs anymore.
“In Nasarawa state, we have a monitoring team in every branch of NAPPMED from the local governments to the state level. We call them Internal Regulatory Mechanism of NAPPMED.
“They go out, check on the activities of members to understand what they do, how they operate. They check what members have in their shops, how they stock their drugs, whether the shops are okay. These are the activities of the team which they engage in from time to time.
“When we catch them with banned products, we do penalize them. We also urge them to relinquish expired drugs to us to give to NAFDAC for destruction but if they wait for the association to come and get them, we penalize them. That is how we operate,” he said.
He then appealed to the state government to support the association with funding and utility vehicles to effectively carry out its functions especially taking their inspection to rural areas of the state.