…As Ekhator Takes Over from Obideyi
It was an exciting moment at the indoor hall of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Lagos Chapter, Ogudu, Lagos, as Pharm. Olabanji Benedict Obideyi, chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) Lagos Chapter, hands over the mantle of power, while recalling the challenges and successes encountered during his three years of service to the ACPN, Lagos State as the chairman.
Pharm. Obideyi, in an interview with Pharmanews recalled how he became a member of the executive in 2012, saying he had been secretary, vice-chairman, as well as chairman in the last nine years. “I had seen a lot, the challenges, the achievement, as well as the lapses, so I want to encourage the new leadership to hit the ground running”.
Acknowledging the support of the executive members of the outgoing administration, Obideyi, said the administration was unable to fulfill all its pre-election promises, due to some unforeseen challenges, but noted that the administration has improved the association despite constraints.
He however advised the newly elected executives to continue from where they stopped, and take the association to the next level. “I would want them to continue in unity and oneness and carry everybody along,” he advised.
Speaking on the issue of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), demanding money before destroying expired drugs, the immediate past ACPN boss condemned the action, adding that the development is ‘absurd’, as it was against the global best practice as obtainable in the advanced countries of the world.
Obideyi described the development as “double jeopardy” as pharmacists in Nigeria were made to pay before destroying their expired products, saying in the United States, UK, South Africa, including Ghana, those who submit expired products are compensated and encouraged to continue doing so for the safety of society.
Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Lagos State Chapter, Pharm. Gbolagade Iyiola, expressed his worries over the situation, saying pharmacists incur loss of funds invested into their business, despite being charged for registration of those drugs by the regulators, adding that paying to the products destroyed is a loss to those concerned.
“What we are saying is this, it is not ideal for individual pharmacists to be destroying expired products on their own. The disposal of expired products should be done by the regulator. This is simply because these drugs are chemicals and they will have an impact on the environment and that is why it is ideal for the regulator to be in charge of it, but unfortunately, you will have to be at their mercy to get that done”.
The high point of the programme was the election of new executive members of the association for the next three years, which is renewable every year.
The newly elected executives of the association are Pharm. Lawrence Ekhator, chairman; Pharm. Paul Owolabi, vice-chairman; Pharm. Charles Oyeniyi, general secretary; Pharm. Mosunmola Dosumu, assistant general secretary; Pharm. Tolulope Ajayi, treasurer; Pharm. Moyinoluwa Oshin, publicity secretary; and Pharm. Olabanji Obideyi, as the immediate past chairman.
In a sober reflection of what lies ahead of the association, the new chairman, Pharm. Lawrence Ekhator appealed to all members of ACPN across the state to work together with the new leadership, so as to take the association to the next level.
“The people should expect more engagement from us to the public whom we serve, that one is basic. We will try as much as possible to collaborate with the public because no matter how much we do if the public doesn’t know, we are like winking in the dark. So, what we intend to do is to make the public know more of who community pharmacists are, what we do, and what the public stands to benefit from engaging community pharmacists when it comes to issue of drugs,” he said.
He continued, as we all know, without drugs in healthcare, there is nothing left because drugs actually are the fulcrum of any healthcare industry. We will continue to engage the public, letting them know the importance of getting the right drug from the right people.