The Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Oyo State chapter, Abiodun Ajibade has urged President Mohammed Buhari to sign the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria bill into law, saying Nigeria’s bill on medicine is obsolete and fueling unsafe medicines.
Mr Ajibade, speaking at a press briefing to flag off the PSN’s 2019 pharmacy week, on Monday, said under Nigeria’s current law, the penalty for illegality in pharmacy practice is N20 fine and unable to deter wrong practices.
Ajibade, flagged by the chairman, Nigerian Association of Industrial Pharmacist, Mr Ajiboye Rasak; Past PSN Chairman, Oyo State, Mr Ishola Adeyinka, General Secretary PSN, Oyo State, Dr Kayode Ogunsesan and Chairman, Association of Lady Pharmacists, Oyo State, Mrs Bola Ajao, stated that the new Pharmacy Council of Nigeria bill passed by the 8th National Assembly is awaiting President Buhari’s signature to become a law to ensure safe and effective medicines.
According to him, “the federal government can not achieve safe and effective medicines if the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria is not well funded, lack working equipment and enabling laws to back them up.”
He stated that the bill if passed into law will also resolve Nigeria’s chaotic drug distribution system, a poor working environment for pharmacists, and curtail fake and substandard medicines in the country.
Mr Ajibade stated that properly produced and stored medicines do not guarantee safe medicines to Nigerians since many hospitals, especially private ones, lack pharmacists to offer medicines to patients since every medicine is a potential poison.
According to him, the lives of the Nigerians should not be continually risked because of our pharmacy laws are insufficient or poorly enforced in Nigeria
He stated, “even though medicines are produced under the approved good manufacturing practice, conveyed through good distribution practice and stored appropriately, it does not guarantee the safety and effectiveness of medicines in the hands of the health consuming public”.
“In a nation where the average populace spends heavily on out of pocket basis for their health needs, it is so sad that the required value is lost because many of them are often denied quality pharmaceutical care”.
“A situation where our hospitals do not have pharmacists, especially private hospitals, but are offering medicines to the patients, is a great disservice Nigeria is doing to the populace and a breach of their fundamental human right”.
He spoke also on the importance of technology in delivering safe and effective medicines for all Nigerians.
“Imbibing technology in its various shades have a great advantage to multiply the capacity of Pharmacists to reach a larger group of people, adding that with over 85 million Nigerians using smartphones, services of Pharmacists can obviously be sought if this is well exploited”.