The Ondo State Joint Task Force on Fake and Counterfeit Drugs carried out a raid on illegal patent medicine vendors, sealing 10 shops in Ayede Ogbese and Shasha Market in Akure metropolis.
The Chairman of the task force, Olugbenga Lasekan, who led the team to the areas, decried the recalcitrant attitude of most patent medicine vendors who opened premises without recourse to rules of the practice.
Lasekan said that by rules laid down by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) no medicine outlet should be opened without approval by the council, nor be cited in filling stations, markets, motor parks or be operated in containers.
“Medicine shops that open without following laid down rules and are not licensed are illegal, while drugs without NAFDAC registration are fake.
By the rules of practice, patent medicine vendors have list of drugs they are permitted to sell, which does not include antibiotics, injections and control drugs.
Hawking of drugs is not allowed because drugs are supposed to be stored under certain temperature which the practice of hawking violates thus making the drugs dangerous for human consumption,” he explained.
The official said that the state had zero tolerance for fake, adulterated and unwholesome products as well as illegal premises and would not rest on its oars until the state was rid of violators.
The chairman warned that the state would not hesitate to prosecute recalcitrant vendors and leaders of patent medicine associations who aided and abetted illegality.
He advised patent medicine vendors in the state to go and obtain their licenses from PCN, to avoid constant harassment and embarrassment.
Lasekan expressed delight at the success recorded during the exercise, adding that the right signal had been sent.
He advised residents to always buy their drugs from licensed patent medicine vendors or pharmacies.
The control drugs found in possession of some patent medicine vendors were confiscated.
The task force comprised officials of the Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, NDLEA, PCN and the Nigeria Police Force.