The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has recently raised the alarm that uneducated charlatans have taken over the business of selling medicine in Kano State, thereby endangering the lives of people.
The warning followed a field inspection exercise carried out by the PCN in majority of the local government areas of the state, in which it found that most of the medicine stores are owned by non-professionals who operate without recourse to regulations.
Registrar of the PCN, Pharm. Nurudeen Mohammed, who briefed reporters, said the Council visited 996 premises, comprising 65 pharmacies and 931 Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMV) shops during the three-day exercise.
Mohammed, who was represented by Pharm. (Mrs) Anthonia Aruya, a PCN Director of Inspection and Monitoring, said the Council sealed 677 premises, comprising 41 pharmacies and 636 PPMV shops, for not registering or renewing their premises’ licenses as required by the law governing the PCN mandate. Similarly, 15 compliance directives were issued to three pharmacies and 12 PPMVs for “lapses.”
Mohammed said the exercise was a move to regulate and control pharmacy education, training and practice, as well as enforce and sanitise the distribution value chain towards the provision of quality pharmaceutical services to the people of Kano State.
He explained that the PCN resumed enforcement activities when it discovered that illegal medicine sales outlets with unwholesome practices were springing up indiscriminately with serious consequences for the general public.
“Observations from the field indicate that many stakeholders open medicine stores at will without recourse to regulations. Some could not write or read in English which makes one wonder how they are able to give the right medicines to the right patients.
“Overall, there is a displayed lack of understanding of the fact that handling of medicines is firstly a professional service before consideration of the business component. The PCN will follow the process through to provide required guidance to improve the level of service delivery in Kano State.
“Those affected will be corrected and guided and those who meet the requirements, will be allowed to remain in the pharmaceutical business,” Mohammed said, while warning people to stop patronising quacks.