Over 400 pharmaceutical and patent medicine shops in Imo State have been shut down by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) for non compliance to stipulated standard practices.
The Director, Inspection and Monitoring in the Council, Mrs. Antonia Aruya, made this known while addressing a news conference in Owerri.
Mrs. Aruya explained that most of the affected patent medicine dealers operated beyond their approved scope as they lacked the skills to handle some of the medicines found in their premises.
She expressed regret that many pharmaceutical and patent medicine dealers engaged in improper handling of controlled substances, poor documentation, unhygienic environment and dispensing of prescription drugs without the presence of a pharmacist.
Mrs. Aruya said “observations from the field in Imo State revealed that many people go into sale of medicines without following due process. Others do not have requisite knowledge of skills to handle medicines in their premises.”
Mrs. Aruya explained that the Council with the aid of security agencies visited more than 500 drug dispensing premises to ensure that only those who adhered to the Federal Government’s regulations were allowed to function.
“At the end of the exercise 431 premises were sealed comprising 45 pharmacies and 386 patent medicine shops. 13 premises were given compliance directives for various offences. The general public is advised to source its drugs needs from registered pharmacy outlets and patent medicine shops who sell over-the-counter-drugs,” she stated.
Mrs. Aruya said the affected drug shops would remain closed until their owners showed evidence of compliance to the standard practices as stipulated by the Federal Ministry of Health.
She noted that poor ventilation in areas where drugs were kept significantly affected their potency and called for a change of attitude among the dealers.
Mrs. Aruya added that the Council would collaborate with the Imo State Government and other stakeholders in the sector to enhance the practice in the state.