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PCN shuts 501 medicine shops

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JThe Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) has arrested two people and shut down 501 medicine shops in the Jos-Bukuru metropolis over diverse offences ranging from sales of medicine in the open markets, illegal operation, engaging in clinical practices among others.

The PCN Director of Enforcement, Pharmacist Stephen Esumobi who spoke with journalists in Jos lamented the poor handling of medicines saying some are stored in residential homes, clothes shops and other unhealthy places hence the need to sanitize the medicine shops.

He stated that, “One of our core mandates is ensuring rational distribution and dispensing of the medicines that are safe, effective and of good quality at all levels of the healthcare delivery system in Nigeria.

“For medicines to achieve optimal therapeutic outcomes, they must maintain their physico-chemical and therapeutic properties as they transit from the manufacturer or importer through the various levels of the distribution chain to the end users.

“One of the major factors affecting the quality of medicines in the medicine supply chain in Plateau State and other parts of Nigeria is the sale of medicines in the open markets and other unregistered locations”.

He added that, “The enforcement team of PCN was in the State in 2022 and several premises were sealed while compliance directives were issued, however, information available through our surveillance team indicates that some premises are yet to take steps to comply while new illegal outlets are emerging in several locations.

“The Enforcement team has been in the State from 13th to 16th May 2024 and visited premises within the State capital and environs. At the end of the exercise, a total of 701 premises were visited, this comprises of 167 pharmacies, 224 patent medicine shops and 310 illegal premises. A total of 501 premises were sealed.

“The premises sealed include 74 pharmacies, 117 patent medicine shops, and 310 illegal medicine shops. They were sealed for offences ranging from sales of medicine in the open drug markets, operating without registration with the PCN, non-renewal of premises certificates, non-pharmacists having access to and dispensing controlled medicines, stocking and sale of medicines above the approved medicine list for patent medicine vendors.

“Engaging in clinical practices, poor documentation, poor storage facilities, stocking of ethical products without the supervision of a Pharmacist, among others and 14 compliance directives were issued. We are strengthening our States and Zonal offices to properly position them to carry out our regulatory mandate to ensure that Nigerians access medicines that are safe, effective and of good quality at all times and in all locations”.

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