As part of the efforts to regulate the drug distribution system in the country, Registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharm. Elijah Mohammed, has disclosed that come 2017, all open drug markets would be closed down.
At the investiture and awards ceremony of the Nigerian Academy of Pharmacy (NAPharm) in Lagos, Mohammed, said government would effect a big change in the drug distribution network by next year.
According to him, the council in conjunction with Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has put in place coordinated wholesale centres in specialized areas where these open drug market would be relocated, and well regulated.
Mohammed, who was part of the six pharmacists inducted as fellows of NAPharm, noted that open drug market has created a leeway for abuse and misuse of drugs by Nigerian because even prescribed drugs are easily accessible.
He described the act of people recommending drugs for others without any medical advise as improper, as such acts has lead to antibiotic and drug resistance among Nigerians.
He added “there are special drugs that must be taken or bought with doctor’s prescription, but owing to the system, they are available to whoever wants to buy.”
Similarly In his address, President of NAPharm, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi regretted that hawking of antibiotics and other medicines across the streets of Nigeria is not a pleasant sight and needs to be curbed.
This he said has contributed not only to drug related fatalities in people, but has worsened the scenarios of antibiotic resistance in the country.
Adelusi-Adeluyi advanced, “to make matters worse, unscrupulous traders still connive with similar- minded manufacturers to make fake and adulterated medicines capitalizing on poverty and ignorance of millions of people who patronize them.”
The NAPharm boss maintained that the challenges faced by pharmacists are enormous, hence the need to partner with other healthcare colleagues to ensure that the mass gains of the past are not eroded.
He appealed to not only to government, but to well meaning Nigerians to avail appropriate funding and support for pharmaceutical related research to aid discovery of new antibiotics in the face of the ongoing abuse.
Also at the event was Former Nigerian Ambassador to the United Kingdom (U.K), Dr. Christopher Kolade, the guest lecturer who charged the academy members to demonstrate good leadership traits in their various spheres of practice.
Kolade in his lecture, “Improving Our Leadership Performance, Nigeria Needs a true profession,” noted that change is the order of normal life and leaders should therefore be the driving force in the growth of the people and “the establishment of the academy should continue to heights the pertinent values attached to the pharmacy profession.”