The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has arrested thirteen illegal medicine dealers in Taraba state.
PCN’s director of Enforcement, Pharm. Stephen Esumobi, who disclosed this to newsmen in Jalingo, said weaknesses in the distribution chain of medicine and the proliferation of illegal medicine stores are major problems to be addressed by the council.
He explained that most of the medicine stores do not have appropriate storage facilities thus exposing medicines to adverse environmental factors that degrade them and make them unsuitable for human consumption.
“One of the identified weaknesses in the distribution chain is the proliferation of illegal medicine stores.
“Most of these premises do not have appropriate storage facilities thus exposing medicines to adverse environmental factors that degrade them and make them unsuitable for human consumption,” Pharm. Esumobi said
He maintained that these illegal outlets do not have pharmacists to supervise the dispensing of medicines to the public.
“This has contributed to irrational dispensing of medicines resulting in treatment failures and untoward effects on patients and other unsuspecting members of the public who patronize them.
“Also, the activities of these illegal outlets tend to encourage the abuse and misuse of controlled medicines with the attendant negative social and security implications,” he noted.
According to him, as a result of the PCN’s intervention, some premises upgraded their facilities to meet conditions for storage of medicines while others have employed pharmacists to supervise pharmaceutical activities.
He pointed out that some of the owners of the premises who refused to comply with guidelines broke the PCN seals and continued with their illegal activities.
These premises are located in Jalingo, Wukari, Bali and Zing local government areas of the state.
Pharmacist Stephen Esumobi called on the public to always ensure that the medicine stores they patronize are registered and have a genuine Pharmacist’s insignia.
He stated further that the prompt follow-up enforcement visit to Taraba state was jointly carried out with the officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.