PCN seals 650 medicine stores in Kaduna

Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has sealed 650 Pharmacies and Patent Medicines outlets in Kaduna State for selling illegal drugs to the public, some of which got to the hands of criminals.

The Council’s Registrar, Pharm. Elijah Mohammed who announced this while addressing a press conference in Kaduna on Friday said, activities of many patent medicine shop owners and other medicine dealers have contributed to the security challenges across the country.

Mohammed who was represented by the Council’s Director of Enforcement, Pharm. Stephen Esumobi stated that, “some of the sealed stores illegally sell substances of abuse to members of the public for financial gains. Some of these substances eventually get into the hands of criminal elements who take them as confidence boosters before carrying out their operations.”

He disclosed that, a particular drug which ought not to be dispensed over the counter now find its way into the hands of criminals. “When they use this drug, they become very powerful, they can trek hundreds of kilometers, they don’t feel hungry or pain of any kind. That is why even when they are shop, they still keep fighting and don’t feel pain until they die.”

He said that, “the PCN enforcement team has been on the field throughout the week visiting Zaria, Kaduna and environs. Observations from the field Patent Medicine Shops revealed that owners of many many Patent Medicine Shops are engaged in the sale of medicines without regard to laid down guidelines.

“Many of the Patent Medicine Vendors in the state are either unregistered or registered but operating far beyond their approved scope. Many of them_sell medicines beyond their approved drug list and since they do not have the requisite knowledge to handle ethical medicines and substances of abuse the health of members of the public who patronize them is at risk.

“Furthermore, activities of many patent medicine shop owners and other medicine dealers have contributed in no small way to the security challenges across the country.

“At the end of the exercise, a total of nine hundred and twenty three (923) premises comprising seven hundred and ninety nine (799) patent and proprietary medicines vendors shops (POMVs) and one hundred  and twenty four (124) Pharmacies were visited. Six hundred and fifty (650) premises comprising sixty two (62) pharmacies and five hundred eighty eight (588) patent medicine vendors shops were sealed.

“Six (6) compliance directives were issued to premises for various offences which includes non-display of premises and pharmacists annual license, poor documentation, inadequate storage facilities while two arrests were made.

“This enforcement exercise is one of the activities that the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria has put in place to streamline the drug distribution system and improve the level of pharmaceutical services delivery to the good people of Kaduna State. Further action will follow in due course since the PCN is committed to ensuring the full implementation of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines.

“The public is hereby advised to source their medicines from registered and currently licensed pharmacies and over- the- counter medicines

from registered PPMV shops as drug sold in unregistered outlets cannot be guaranteed to be genuine due to the effect of poor handling and exposure to environmental factors that degrade

them.

“I want to use this opportunity to thank, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigeria Police, Department of State Services, the Kaduna State Ministry of Health and the gentlemen of the press for their continuous collaboration with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria,” he said.