In this edition of viewpoint, our reporter, Oladejo Adebayo went to town to get the reactions of Nigerians towards the practice of hawking and buying of drugs inside buses. Their diverse reactions are presented below.
Drugs should not be bought anyhow
I would not buy drugs in a bus for any reason because most of those drugs you see people selling inside buses are either fake or expired drugs. A lot of people who sell those drugs are charlatans, who have no knowledge about drugs and who are not trained to handle drugs. Most times, these people would change the expiry date of a drug, so that they could sell it to people and make money. I would prefer to buy my drugs from a registered pharmacy shop, so that if anything goes wrong, I could quickly go back to complain and I would know whom to hold responsible.
Meanwhile, I would advise those who still patronises these charlatans to desist from it, as it is too dangerous for their health. Why would they endanger their own lives, in the name of buying cheap things? Drugs are too dangerous to be bought anywhere and anyhow.
Staff, Newton Pharmacy
A reasonable person should know better
Drugs are not meant to be taken at will and also not to be bought anyhow, rather they should be prescribed by a doctor, and should be dispensed by a pharmacist or chemist, who knows the intricacies of drugs. If you take or buy drugs by yourself, without the directive of medical personnel, it could lead to breakdown of certain things in the body, or complications, and it could also lead to sudden death. So, a reasonable person should know that majority of those who sell drugs in buses are not trained medical practitioners, but traders who are concerned about their pocket and how to make ends meet.
However, some of the major reasons why some people fall prey to these people are as a result of ignorance, illiteracy and poverty, so those in the health sector should help enlighten people more on the dangers inherent in buying drugs from unregistered persons or premises, and by so doing, our health status would be better for it.
Pastor Femi Oni
College Road, Ifako Lagos
Those who patronises them are gullible!
A lot of people in this country are too gullible and as such, they are ready to buy anything, provided it is cheap. As far as I am concerned, cheap things kill faster than even a bullet, and I see no reason why a right thinking person, who values his or her life, would buy a malaria drug that is worth one thousand naira at a chemist shop at the rate of two hundred naira in a bus, and still go ahead to use the drug. I wonder how, on earth, would anyone expect the drug they sell at give away prices to do the same thing as those they sell at higher prices in pharmacy shops.
Meanwhile, it is worrisome that a lot of people, even the so called educated and the enlightened, patronise these charlatans, who sell drugs in buses. I think our government needs to do more in this aspect of fake and adulterated drugs. They should empower the agencies like NAFDAC, PSN and others to arrest and prosecute these charlatans.
Idi Osan, Agbado
I would look at it, but I won’t buy
As for me, I would listen attentively to whatever they say about those drugs they sell in the bus, but nothing on this earth would make me patronise them. Most times, I do collect the pack of the drug from them, in order to see its features and some other things, but rather than buying it from them, I would prefer to go to my pharmacist, where I could make enquiries and seek advice on the drug. I have observed that over ninety nine percent of those who sell drugs in buses are either quacks or are not trained to handle drugs.
Meanwhile, those who buy these drugs do so because those drugs are extremely cheap. They have forgotten that their lives are more precious than the little money they are trying to save. So, as far as I am concerned, if a particular drug could not be found anywhere, except in a bus, I would rather forget about buying the drug.
What is wrong with it?
What is the big deal in buying drugs inside a bus? Those who sell the drugs are human beings, just like you and I, and they are even well known among the commercial bus drivers and traders, and as such, they have no hiding place and one can easily trace them and lodge complaints, if anything goes wrong. To be sincere with ourselves, how many pharmacy shops in Nigeria would you get to that you would be attended to by a pharmacist? Most of them would open a pharmacy shop and put one of their brothers or sisters there to attend to people, while the owner would take another job with either government or private establishments.
So, when you look at it, it is like a case of calling a dog a bad name, in order to hang it. If a drug has not expired and the person selling it in a bus is not a ghost, why can’t I patronise them? What is the difference between those who sell drugs in buses and pharmacy shops, where a boy or girl of fifteen to twenty years old would attend to you? I am not saying there are no bad eggs among those who sell drugs in buses, just like we have among those who sell inside shops, but when one knows what he or she is buying, there is the tendency that one would not make the wrong choice.