The Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Pharmacy Council bill 2017.
The association disclosed this in a statement signed by two of its executives,Pharmacists Samuel Adekola and Abosede Idowu.
They argued that the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) bill 2017 should be assented to because it is very consistent with similar laws in the Commonwealth League of Nations, where regulatory laws and statutes have become very sacred in keeping pace with the norms and ethos of public health.
They added that recent public health concerns with regards to the increasing challenges of drug abuse and misuse in Nigeria has been evaluated by the association, stressing that this development obviously further complicates the perennial woes of fake as well as falsified drugs in Nigeria and should bother all promoters of good pharmacy practice in Nigeria.
“One of the major benefit packages of PCN bill is that it opens a unique window of competence driven service rendition at all levels. The new Satellite Pharmacy concept gives us the prospects of additional pharmaceutical premises in hundreds of thousand range manned by registered pharmacist.
“The Bill provides that any pharmacist who has over ten (10) year post-qualification experience can own a satellite pharmacy not withstanding his primary practice option. What this does is that professional service points in pharmacy will increase from about five thousand (5000) we currently have to over one hundred thousand (100,000) in Nigeria. These satellite Pharmacies in turn have mandate to provide oversight in a manner of hub and spoke model over the Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendors thereby improving their regulation.
“The enforcement of sales of medicines in only registered pharmacies and patent medicines stores by the PCN is the only way to permanently redress the menace of drug abuse and falsified drug syndrome in Nigeria. This has been prescribed by the Poison and Pharmacy Act.
“The PCN Bill 2017 clearly prohibits sale of drugs in unauthorized places such as open drug markets, this in essence is in tandem with the National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDG) which is the official government tool structured to impose decorum in the unwieldy drug distribution channels which Nigeria currently contends with. Today as it stands Government moves to replace the unlawful open market structures with Coordinated Wholesale Centers (CWC) need to be grounded in lawful templates which the PCN bill guarantees,” the statement reads.
The statement added that responsibilities of the critical stakeholders and in particular regulators like PCN, NAFDAC, NDLEA as well as police will automatically be enhanced once all the necessary reforms are formalized.
The ACPN appealed to the Buhari-led FG to heed this clarion call to engender a new agenda of productivity, professionalism, self-sufficiency in local production and regulatory excellence in the pharma-sector.
“It is a statement of fact that many less endowed African nations have today polished their pharmacy laws to meet global best practices such that the terminal consequences of poor statutes, weak enforcement, and so on which engender easy access to drugs to promote the vicious cycle of drug abuse and misuse, falsified drug syndrome etc. are gradually being eliminated in these climes. This is the same purpose the new Pharmacy Council Bill is intended to achieve,” the statement added.