(By Adebayo Oladejo)
In a renewed bid to add value to the practice of pharmacy in Nigeria and also distinguish professionals from charlatans, the Association of Community Pharmacy of Nigeria (ACPN) has urged all its members across the country to get the original pharmacy emblem with the Rx sign and erect it at their premises before the deadline given by the association.
National chairman of the association, Pharm. (Alh) Olufemi Ismail Adebayo, disclosed this during a press conference organised by ACPN at its national secretariat, Lagos, recently. According to him, the Rxpharmacy emblem is a patented professional sign of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission and placed under the ACPN, with the power of attorney to manage since 1976. He added that the sign is a mark of identifying registered and pharmacist-owned premises since 1976.
In his words, “Let me correct one impression that some people are having concerning the pharmacy emblem that it is new.The Rx emblem is not new, as it has been in use since 1976. We are only trying to enforce it and to let people know that the emblem is our symbol and, as such, it is compulsory that every member should have one and erect it at their premises. The symbol shows members of the public where quality medicines and excellent pharmaceutical care and services are provided.”
Adebayo also emphasised that the association would notrecognise any emblemnot issued and documented by the association, saying such would be considered illegal. He also added that public awareness would soon commence on the emblem. “From the month of October, 2013, serious public awareness about the emblem will commence in both print and electronic media, in order to redirect the footsteps of the public to the right path in meeting the experts and custodians of medicines for proper pharmaceutical care and procurement of genuine and quality medicine products. It is of paramount importance to inform people that in line with the value of the emblem, the ACPN has restructured the sign with aluminium rust-free panel, and it is more aesthetically packaged. The emblem carries the serial number of PSN and any emblem different from the one from ACPN is regarded as fake, if mounted in any premises, and it shall be pulled down with a fine of Ten Thousand Naira.…” he disclosed.
On the criteria for getting the emblem,the ACPN boss said the emblem is meant for pharmacist-owned premises that are registered with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), and that it is the responsibility of the association to verify membership before issuing out the emblem to any interested pharmacy. “We have given our members enough time to get this emblem and by the time the period elapses, we will think of the right punishment to be meted out to defaulters. Meanwhile, we advise the general public to be on the lookout for the pharmacy emblem whenever they are patronising any pharmacy,” he said.
Also commenting on the need for cooperation among healthcare providers in the country, Adebayo said it has been worrisome witnessing disunity in the healthcare sector. He also said that the discordant relationship among healthcare professionals is compromising efficiency in the nation’s public healthcare delivery. He however commended President Goodluck Jonathan for inaugurating the Presidential Committee of Experts on Inter-Professional Relationship in the Public Health Sector, which is intended to resolve the unhealthy relationship among pharmacists, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, laboratory scientists and other health care personnel.