By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A total of 259 premises made up of 46 pharmacies and 213 Patent Medicine Stores in various areas of Lagos State were on Monday closed down by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN).
Carrying out the raid today, the Council said the affected stores were sealed for operating without proper registration with the Council, failure to renew premises licence, dispensing ethical products without supervision of a pharmacist amongst others.
A similar exercise was carried out last week, where 28 premises were issued compliance directives for offences such as poor sanitary conditions, poor documentation and failure to display licences.
“What we observed in many parts of Lagos is that so many premises operate without fulfilling minimum requirements.
“Some of these premises store products in environments where the quality, safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products cannot be guaranteed, thus exposing the public to danger,” the Deputy Director, Enforcement of the PCN, Pharm Stephen Esumobi, said during a press conference at the weekend.
Mr Esumobi added that a total of 382 premises comprising 117 pharmacies and 265 patent medicine shops were visited.
He explained that the exercise was not meant to be punitive, but to encourage those involved in the sale and distribution of medicines to do the right thing.
He urged members of the public to purchase their medicines from licenced Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendor shops, advising those intending to start pharmaceutical business to get in touch with the PCN head office in Abuja or any of the state zonal offices for proper guidance.
He said, “One of the core mandates of the PCN is ensuring rational distribution and dispensing of medicines that are safe, effective and of good quality to the public. Before a pharmaceutical facility commences operation, it must fulfil certain conditions in line with PCN guidelines.
“First the facility is expected to apply for location approval. When the approval is given, the necessary structure should be put in place for facility inspection.”