12 pharmacies, 254 patent medicine stores shut in Ekiti

By Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado Ekiti

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria has sealed off 12 pharmacies, 254 patent medicine stores across Ekiti State for unethical conduct.

The PCN Registrar, Dr. Elijah Mohammed, disclosed this on Friday at a press conference held at the end of a four-day inspection and enforcement excercise in the state.

Towns visited were: Ifaki Ekiti, Ayetoro, Ikole, Ado-Ekiti , Igede, Aramoko, Oye, Ayegbaju Iworoko,Ilupeju, among others.

Mohammed noted that the council was worried by the proliferation of medicines stores being opened at will in Ekiti State, saying six pharmacies that breached the regulations guiding the sale of drugs.

The Registrar, represented by PCN’s Director of Enforcement, Mr. Stephen Esumobi, explained that 254 of the 409 drug premises visited were seal off for allegedly contravening the PCN code of conduct and regulations guiding the sale of drugs.

He said the purpose of the enforcement exercise is to ensure that all premises where medicines are sold are registered, having fulfilled conditions with respect to location, storage facilities, environment, documentation and personnel.

“At the end of the enforcement exercise, a total of 409 premises comprising 37 pharmacies and 372 patent medicine shops were visited.

“A total 266 premises made up of 12 pharmacies and 254 patent medicine shops were sealed off for operating without licences , dispensing ethical products without the supervision of a pharmacist and for poor storage and sanitary .

“Six Patent Medicine vendors were arrested for breaking PCN’s seals and they will be charged to court when investigations are concluded.”

Mohammed regretted that many of the medicine outlets in some parts of the country don’t have Pharmacists to handle ethical medicines in their premises, saying this had resulted in irrational dispensing of drugs, causing treatment failures and dire effects on patients.

He disclosed that many of the illegal medicine outlets were sources of illicit drug supplies to criminals in many parts of the country who carried out their nefarious criminal activities under the influence of hard drugs.

“In order to address this challenge, the PCN had been engaging drug dealers, educating them across the states on the need to operate in line with the government regulations.

“The council had also stepped up enforcement activities across the country with the aim of ensuring that illicit drugs dealing are not allowed in the system”.

Mohammed reiterated that the premises would remain sealed until all regulatory guidelines are met, urging members of the public to purchase their medicines from licensed pharmacies and licensed patent stores.