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PCN arrests 16 illegal medicine dealers, seals 178 premises in Rivers

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) said that it has arrested 16 illegal medicine dealers and sealed about 178 premises in Port...

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) says it has arrested 16 illegal medicine dealers and sealed about 178 premises in Port Harcourt and Obio Akpor local government areas of Rivers State.
The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Director of Enforcement, Pharm. Stephen Esumobi, who spoke to journalists in Port Harcourt, on Friday, said the 16 illegal medicine dealers were arrested for breaking the PCN seals while 178 premises were sealed for offences such as operating without registration with PCN, incomplete registration, selling ethical medicines without the supervision of a pharmacist.
He said many of the premises sealed were not registered with the council, adding that many of them do not have appropriate storage facilities, thereby exposing medicines to adverse environmental factors that either degrade them or transform them to other biologically active substances.
He said the illegal outlets do not have pharmacists to supervise the dispensing of medicines to the public, stressing that the action 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.
“In other to address this challenge , the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria stepped up enforcement activities across the states. As a result of this intervention , some premises upgraded their facilities to meet conditions of storage of medicines while others have employed pharmacists to supervise pharmaceutical activities.
“However , some of the premises owners in the state who refused to comply with guidelines broke the PCN seals and continued with their illegal activities. This prompted this follow up enforcement visit which was jointly carried out with the officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
“16 illegal medicine dealers have been arrested so far for breaking PCN seals and efforts are ongoing to apprehend and prosecute other suspects who are currently at large. Also 178 out of 251 premises visited were sealed off for offences such as operating without registration with PCN , incomplete registration , selling ethical medicines without the supervision of a pharmacist among other,” he said.
He added that PCN will do all within its powers to ensure that all those involved in breaking its seals are arrested and prosecuted.

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