Why Pharmacists Council of Nigeria sealed 469 drug stores in Bauchi
By Charly Agwam – Bauchi
The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) said it has sealed 469 premises comprising twenty three pharmacies and four hundred and forty six patent medicine shops across Bauchi for various offences.
In a press statement issued by Director and Head of Enforcement Department, Pharmacist Stephen Esumobi in Bauchi on Thursday, he said that many of the premises were operating without registration with the PCN while the registered ones failed to renew their premises certificates.
“The PCN enforcement team visited some premises across some Local Government Areas in the state in 2019. So many of the premises then were operating without registration with the PCN while the registered ones failed to renew their premises certificates. These premises were sealed while the owners were given opportunity to fulfil conditions for registration.
“After most of the premises fulfilled conditions for registration, they were unsealed. The office took pains to sensitize Patent Medicine Vendors and other medicine dealers on the need to continue to comply with regulations in the interest of public health.
“Also during the orientation and continuing education programmes, vendors were taught how to handle simple household (Over-the-Counter) medicines to ensure that products remain safe, effective and of good quality throughout their shelf life,” he said.
He noted further that despite efforts to sanitize the sector, many drugs merchants indulged in various unsafe practices for financial gains.
“Despite the efforts of PCN, so many premises returned to their old ways because of financial gains. While some premises took steps to operate in line with regulations, so many others have chosen to operate in breach of it.
“Many products in these erring premises may no longer be fit for human consumption due to poor handling. The exposure of these products to adverse environmental factors like high temperature, humidity and direct sunlight could compromise their quality, safety, and efficacy.
“It is in the light of the above, the Council had no other option than to reseal these premises during the current national enforcement exercise. The local government areas visited include the following: Bauchi, Toro, Katagum, Alkaleri, Kirfi, Misau, Zaki, Gamawa Giade, Shira, Jamaare, Itas, Ganjuwa, Ningi, Dass, Tafawa Balewa, Bogoro and Darazo.
“At the end of the exercise, a total of five hundred and ninety eight (598) premises were visited. This comprises five hundred and fifty seven (557) Patent Medicines Shops (PMS) and forty one (41) Pharmacies, A total of four hundred and sixty nine (469) premises were sealed comprising twenty three (23) pharmacies and four hundred and forty six (446) Patent Medicines Shops.
“Thirteen (13) compliance directives were issued for various offences such as poor sanitary conditions, poor documentation and non-display of premises and pharmacists annual licences.
“The public is hereby advised to source all drug needs from registered and currently licensed pharmacies and over the counter medicines from registered Patent Medicine shops as drug sold in unregistered outlets cannot be guaranteed to be safe for consumption,” he added.
He appreciated the cooperation of Bauchi State Ministry of Health, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Police, Department of State Services and the press in helping to rid the State of fake drugs.