Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) says it has sealed no fewer than three hundred and forty (340) patient medicine stores for non-compliance with PCN guidelines, poor sanitary conditions, poor documentation and non-display of pharmacists annual license in Edo State.
PCN added that the patient medicine stores were sealed by its enforcement agents in Benin, Uromi, Ekpoma, Ewu, Irua, Ogua among other towns in Edo south and central senatorial districts who are out to enforce compliance.
Pharm. Elijah Mohammed, Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria who revealed this in Benin on Thursday during a press conference, said the 340 premises sealed comprise of eighty four (84) pharmacies and two hundred and fifty six (256) Patient Medicines Vendor Shops.
The Registrar, whose speech was delivered by Pharm. Stephen Esumobi, Director, enforcement, noted that observation from enforcement agents of the council in the field revealed that owners of many premises are engaged in sale of medicines with total disregard to laid down guidelines hence sealing their premises.
“Most of the Patient Medicines Vendors in the state are either unregistered or registered but operating far beyond their approved scope. Many of them sell medicines beyond their approved drug list. Since they do not have the requisite knowledge to handle ethical medicines and substances of abuse, the health of members of the public who patronise them is at risk,” he added.
The Registrar who noted that this is first phase the PCN put in place to streamline drug distribution system and improve the level of pharmaceutical service delivery to the people of Edo State, advised the public to source their medicines from registered and currently licensed pharmacies.
According to him, because the PCN does not want to send anyone parking from his or her business due to the economic situation of the country, it has likewise embarked on sensitization of patient medicine store owners on what is expected of them, adding that if they still fail to comply the council will be left with no option than to close such stores completely.
“The PCN is not interested in getting people out of business because of the economic situation of the country. We want them to do the right thing. But there is a limit we can go. If we give them directive and they continue in their old practice, we will be left with no option than to close such stores completely,” he said.