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Pharmacy council seals 381 medicine shops in A’ Ibom

By Isaac Job

The Pharmacy Council of Nigeria, South-South zone has said that 381 medicine shops have been sealed up in Akwa Ibom for various offences.

Addressing a press conference in Uyo on Friday the Director, Head of Enforcement Department, Pharmacy council of Nigeria (PCN) Stephen Esumobi said the affected medicine shops were closed during the current drive by the council to streamline drug distribution system in the country.

“381 premises were sealed comprising 52 pharmacies and 329 patent medicine shops ”

Esumobi listed offences of dealers whose shops were sealed to include lack of certifications, non-display of certificates in business premises, poor environment of shop locations, non-availability of qualified personnel, drug storage facilities and general pharmaceutical practices.

Other offences include non-renewal of premises certificates, unauthorized sales of medicine/abuse, poor access control to the poison cupboards, poor storage facilities and temperature control as well sticking and sale of prescription and other ethical products by patent medicine vendors.

“In enforcing the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria laws, the primary areas of focus of our enforcement team are premises, Personnel and practice.

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“It is an offence for any stakeholder to operate a pharmaceutical business in a location that had not been inspected and approved by the Pharmacy council of Nigeria.

“The personnel in charge of pharmaceutical premises must have knowledge that is appropriate for the scope of pharmaceutical activity”

Esumobi disclosed that the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) Enforcement Team having stayed in the state for one week visited Uyo, Abak, Itu, Eket, Ibesikpo Asutan Ikot Ekpene and Oron local government areas of Akwa Ibom state.

He explained that a total of 727 premises were visited including parent medicine shops and pharmacies.

” At the end of the exercise, a total of 727 premises were visited. This comprises 559 patent medicine shops,168 pharmacies”

Esumobi disclosed that the worst cases of non-compliance were discovered in Eket and Oron axis of the state adding that the purpose of the inspection was not meant to put medicine vendors out of business but to ensure compliance with extant laws and standard practice.

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