The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) in Ogun state has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign into law the 2017 Pharmacy Council of Nigeria Bill in the interest of best practices in the profession.
The society made the call at the inauguration ceremony of Mr Lawrence Aiyelabola as the new Chairman of the association and investiture of merit award winners in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Mr Anthony Oyawole, the keynote speaker at the event, noted that the bill, when signed by the president, would aid self-sufficiency in local production and ensure regulatory excellence in the pharmaceutical sector.
According to him, it is important to have rules that guide the operations of the pharmacy at the retail, community band industrial level.
“We had thought that the PCN bill would be signed by President Muhammadu Buhari before the expiration of the 8th legislature. We are,however, hopeful that in the early days of this 9th legislature, our bill will be assented to so that it forms the basis for the operations of everybody in the pharmaceutical profession. The bill is very important because in any society, there must be a law that regulates the conduct of people. When you’re talking about health and pharmaceuticals in particular, since there are many players in the field, there must be set of rules that guide our operations at the retail, community, industrial level,’’ he said.
The pharmacist said an enabling regulation was required to curb proliferation and counterfeiting of medicines.
“We need the law to curb the proliferation of drugs, especially drugs that we are not sure of their origin. The bill needs to be passed so that everybody knows his boundary. We should be able to trace every item of drug from where it is manufactured to where it is consumed,’’ he said.
Oyawole, who observed that Nigeria was losing huge revenue to manufacturers of fake drugs, described the loss as unquantifiable.
He lamented that the pharmacy profession had become a commercial affair.
“The rate of drug abuse in Nigeria is worrisome. Cases of banditry, thuggery and terrorism are high because our youths now consume dangerous substances to be able to do these heinous things. If there are no laws guiding those in this profession, how would you be able to apportion appropriate sanctions? It is a pity that pharmacy has become a heavy commercial affair,” he said.
In her remarks, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, Ogun State Deputy Governor, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Ekundayo Ayinde, stressed the need for a vibrant and innovative leadership of PSN.
She urged the group to strive at all times to collaborate with other health care teams to provide best pharmaceutical practice and qualitative health care to the people of Ogun state.
“Wholesome, genuine and affordable drugs should be made available to the citizens of the state at all times,” she added.