The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, PCN, has sealed 218 outlets for poor handling of controlled substances, unhygienic environment, poor documentation and non-renewal of licenses.
Anthonia Aruya, the Director Inspection and Monitoring of PCN, told journalists in Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State, southern Nigeria, that the outlets were shutdown in the interest of public safety.
Aruya, who represented the Registrar of the council, said “a total of 276 premises were visited comprising of 19 pharmacies and 257 patent medicine shops and illegal outlets. Seven arrests were made and a total of 218 premises were sealed comprising eight pharmacies and 210 patent medicine shops and illegal outlets”.
The Director further disclosed that the outlets were sealed for various offences ranging from “poor handling of controlled substances, sales and dispensing of ethical/prescription drugs without the supervision of a pharmacist, unhygienic environment, poor documentation amongst others, in the interest of public safety”.
According to Aruya, the council was on enforcement across states in line with its mandate and the National drug Distribution Guideline of the Nigerian Government.
She explained that the inspection was also to ensure that the outlets meet acceptable standards, noting “some of these premises opened at will without recourse to the council cannot be guaranteed to have standards that will maintain the integrity of the products within such facilities”.
The Director further stated that outlets found operating beyond the specified scope were in violation of law, saying “our activity in Cross River is to sanitizing the system for better service delivery to the good people of the State and nation”.
She commended the media for partnering with the council, stressing that PCN committee in Cross River would extend the inspection and monitoring to other parts of the State.
“I appreciate the State Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, the Nigeria Police Force and other agencies including the media for collaborating with the council”, she added.