Over 100 Medicine Stores Shut Down in North Central Nigeria for Non-Compliance with Standards
The Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Committee (PIC) in Kogi State has reportedly closed more than 100 medicine stores in 2021 due to non-compliance with required standards. The Vice Chairman of the PIC in Kogi State, Dr Lawal Muhammed Omuya, disclosed this information during an event commemorating World Pharmacist Day in Lokoja. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Pharmacists Strengthening the Health System”.
Dr Omuya, who also presides over the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) in the state, explained that these closures took place between January and September. He added that the PIC has intensified its efforts to eradicate quackery within the state’s pharmaceutical sector.
World Pharmacists Day and its Significance
World Pharmacists Day is celebrated annually on September 25. The day marks the founding of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) in 1912 and was officially recognized by the FIP Council in 2009. The day is used globally to highlight the essential role of pharmacists in improving health.
The closure of these medicine stores signifies the committee’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of the pharmaceutical sector and ensuring the safety of the public. By enforcing standards, the committee aims to improve the quality of health services delivered to the community, in line with this year’s World Pharmacist Day theme.
Addressing Quackery in Pharmaceutical Practice
According to Dr Omuya, quackery in pharmaceutical practice can be examined from two angles – professional and facilities. The professional angle involves individuals who are non-pharmacists, both educated and non-educated, presenting themselves as pharmacists. On the other hand, facilities that exist in the community that are illegal or not in good standing with pharmacy practice are also a concern. These are drug stores that are stocked to the brim, giving an erroneous impression of a pharmacy.
The PIC, in collaboration with the PSN and Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN), is addressing quackery on these two bases. The committee conducts routine monitoring and inspections to tackle this problem. If a facility is found to be operating illegally, it is promptly shut down and sealed. Stores that are licensed by the PCN but are falling short of the standard are given a ‘compliance directive’ within a specific time frame to meet up. If they fail to meet up, they are also shut down.
Call for Government Support
Dr Omuya appealed to the Kogi State Government to collaborate with the PSN and PCN to ensure that their activities can be carried out more effectively and efficiently. He suggested providing security, means of transport, and other logistic needs for their operations.
On this year’s World Pharmacist Day, the Kogi State PSN emphasized that pharmacists help reduce healthcare costs and waste, improve health outcomes, and provide value for Nigerians’ money. Pharmacists strengthen the health system through the optimization of medication use and reduction of medication-related burden. Dr Omuya encouraged Kogites to always consult pharmacists on drug matters to strengthen the health system of the nation.
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