Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has sealed 44 pharmacies and 343 patent medicine shops in Benue over poor handling of controlled substances.
Its Director, Inspection and Monitoring, Anthonia Aruya, stated this on Friday at a news conference in Makurdi.
She said that the council sealed a total of 387 premises within five days.
Aruya explained that the premises were sealed because the operators sale and dispense drugs without the supervision of pharmacists, unhygienic environment and poor documentation, among others.
She said the council was in Benue to sensitise the system for better pharmaceutical service delivery to the people of the state and Nigeria.
According to her, the five days enforcement exercise is geared at streamlining the drug distribution value chain to promote the provision of safe, effective and quality medicines distribution along registered and currently licensed premises in the state.
“At the end of the exercise, a total of 556 premises were visited comprising 84 pharmacies and 472 patent medicine shops.
A total of 387 premises were sealed comprising of 44 pharmacies and 343 patent medicine shops. 16 premises comprising three pharmacies and 13 PPMV shops were issued compliance directives for various offences.
The offences range from poor handling of controlled substances, sale and dispensing of ethical/prescription drugs without the supervision of a pharmacist, unhygienic environment, poor documentation, among others, in the interest of public safety,” he said.
Aruya said any premises found selling above their scope of operation, such as sale and dispensing of ethical products without the presence of superintendent pharmacists or handling of controlled medicines by non-pharmacists, were operating in violation of the law.
“In this regard the pharmacist is well trained and experienced to handle all categories of medicine while the Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMV) on the other hand, are only to handle over the counter medicines (OTCs) which have been proven to have good safety margin.
The general public is advised to ask for the registration status of facilities where they access their medicines by requesting for the current licenses issued by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria from any pharmaceutical outlet to safeguard themselves from patronising quacks,” she said.
Aruya appreciated the State Ministry of Health, security operatives and the media for their continuous collaboration with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria.