The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has sealed 358 medical facilities and illegal patient medicine shops in Taraba State. The Director, Inspection and Monitoring of the Council Mrs. Anthonia Aruya, disclosed this at a Press conference in Jalingo on Friday after a tour of 539 facilities across the state. Aruya said the observation of the team in the state showed that many people went into the sale of medicines without due recognition to laid down guidelines for setting up such facilities, adding that some are basically not qualified to go into the business of selling medicines as they can neither read nor write. She said: “At the end of our exercise in Taraba State, we visited 539 premises comprising of 52 Pharmacies and 487 Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs). We also sealed 358 premises comprising seven Pharmacies and 351 PPMVs.
“Sixteen Compliance Directives were issued to one Pharmacy and 15 PPMVs for various offenses ranging from improper handling of controlled substances, unhygienic environment, and poor documentation and dispensing of ethical prescription drugs without the presence of a pharmacist. “Our observation in the field revealed that many people in the state go into the sale of medicines without due recognition to laid down guidelines for setting up such facilities”. “Others do not have the requisite knowledge or skills to handle medicines in their premises or are operating beyond their approved scope. “More worrisome is the fact that some could not even read or write or communicate in English at all.
One would therefore imagine how they are able to handle medicines in their facilities and the attendant public health implications.” Aruya said the first phase of the council is geared towards streamlining the drug distribution system in the state which would be followed by further actions in due course and assured of the commitment of the PCN to the provision of good pharmaceutical services to the people of the state. She urged the people to always source for drugs from registered pharmaceutical outlets and PPMVs shops as drugs sold in unregistered outlets could not be guaranteed to be genuine and could be dangerous to health. According to her, the state monitoring team has been mandated to ensure that the sealed shops do not operate, adding that violation of the order by any affected persons will attract prosecution.