Sanction pharmaceutical shops selling prohibited drugs, Expert urges PCN


A medical practitioner, Dr Tochukwu Egwuonwu has urged the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) to sanction pharmaceutical shops still selling prohibited drugs over-the-counter without prescription.

Egwuonwu, who spoke to the press in Lagos said it is saddening and disappointing that some pharmacists still don’t ask for the prescriptions from people before selling certain drugs.

“I am calling on the regulatory body to ensure that pharmacists do not just sell drugs to make money, but should ask for a prescription before dispensing drugs.

The council should also be proactive and take enforcement serious,’’ the medical expert said.

Egwuonwu also said that some prohibited drugs like tramadol and pentazocine injection were still being sold over-the-counter.

According to her, tramadol cannot be completely withdrawn from the markets because some people still need it.

She advised the regulatory body to ensure that antibiotics of any sort were not sold over-the-counter, not even Amoxyl.

Egwuonwu observed that some doctors were prescribing expensive antibiotics to treat minor illnesses, because the cheap ones had been misused and were no longer effective.

“This is why governments need to step in to let people know that when these antibiotics were misused, the medical practitioners are left with no other option.

She also advised people to stop patronising those hawking drugs and avoid seeking treatment from the chemists, describing them as illiterate.

The medical expert accused some pharmacists of conniving with the laboratory scientists to treat sick people.

Egwuonwu advised people to know that only an experienced medical personnel could adequately treat a patient.

She said many people resulted to self-medication or even felt that a nearby medicine outlet should be their first port of call because they kept assuming on their illnesses.

She said: “A lot of illnesses have similar symptoms like vomiting, fever, headache as well as the ones that come with abdominal discomfort.’’

The expert appealed to people to do away with the culture of self-medication and ensure that they visit hospitals at all times for proper treatment.