The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has shut 499 pharmacies and medicine shops in Kwara State for professional misconduct.
According to the Registrar, PCN, Pharm. Elijah Mohammed 30 of the premises are pharmacies, while 469 are patent medicine stores.
He said the action was necessitated by the dire need to curtail the circulation of illicit drugs that may pose a major threat to the well-being of residents.
Speaking through the Director of Enforcement, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Mr. Stephen Esumobi, Mohammed said,”PCN enforcement team has been in Kwara since the beginning of this week with the aim to ensure that all premises where medicines are sold are registered, and have fulfilled conditions with respect to location, storage facilities, environment, documentation and personnel.
“At the end of the enforcement exercise, a total of 687 premises comprising 98 pharmacies and 589 patent medicine shops were visited.
“A total of 499 premises made up of 30 pharmacies and 469 patent medicine shops were sealed for various offences; some of which include operating without registration with PCN, failure to renew premises licence, dispensing ethical products without the superior of a pharmacist, poor storage and sanitary conditions among others.
“Twelve pharmacies and patent medicine shops were issued compliance directives.”
The registrar added that one of the identified weaknesses in the drug distribution chain was the proliferation of illegal medicine shops which has become worse since the COVID-19 lockdown.
He observed that many of the premises do not have appropriate storage facilities thereby exposing medicines to harsh environmental factors like high temperature and humidity as some other medicines that are photosensitive are exposed to direct sunlight which causes degradation of medicines thus making many of them harmful.