Any Pharmacist Surcharging Clients with POS Unprofessional, Says Oladigbolu

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A customer collecting naira notes from a POS operator.

The National Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) Pharm. Wale Oladigbolu, has described any pharmacist capitalising on the current economic situation in the country to be surcharging clients with Point of Sales (POS) as unprofessional and could be disciplined by the professional body.

This comes as pharmanewsonline gathered that some pharmacists in the community have joined the band wagon of POS operators who are taking advantage of the prevailing cash scarcity to extort helpless masses.

Prior to the introduction of the new naira notes, pharmanewsonline reports that POS operators have been charging marginal commissions  on cash withdrawal, but since the introduction of the new notes, especially as the expiration of the old notes approach,  accessing new notes has been a tug of war, with surging commissions from POS operators.

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Speaking in an exclusive interview with some clients of retail pharmacies who prefer anonymity, they said pharmacies in their neighbourhood are now running POS service with same charges others are collecting. According to one of them “the pharmacy close to my house has been the one giving me cash, although he still collects same commission, but since I don’t have another option, I just collect it like that”.

The number-one community pharmacist in the country however condemned this  act, saying it is service against humanity and any pharmacist who indulges in this stands a chance of being disciplined as it is an unethical practice.

Oladigbolu said “Any pharmacist that engages in that is not being professional, because even though you say money management is not part of our practice, but helping the community is in our heart and that is what we love to do every time.

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“I don’t think any thorough professional pharmacist will take advantage of the situation like this.

“Just yesterday, we were analysing the situation and some community pharmacists just voluntarily said they are helping their community, which they are not charging high commission like POS and other businesses are charging.

“After surcharging them, it is the same customers that you are still expecting to patronise you, so how would they evaluate your practice, when you take advantage of them with scarcity of naira? Then that means when they are sick, you have ample opportunity of extorting them more”.

Also reacting to the development, Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Lagos State Chapter, Pharm. Ismail Kola Sunmonu, toed the same path with Oladigbolu by frowning at the act, as he urged his colleagues to be ethically minded, cashless economy or not.

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According to him, pharmacists should desist from engaging in unethical practices like overcharging customers with POS as it is demeaning for the profession, rather, they should seek means of uplifting the status of pharmacists in the community, by rendering charitable services to alleviate the sufferings of their clients.

“Our colleagues should desist from doing POS business, uphold the ethics of the profession, give succour to the distressed and empathise with patients”, he urged.

 

 

 

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