Stop Registration of Sachet Alcoholic Drinks Immediately, PSN Tasks NAFDAC



Stop Registration of Sachet Alcoholic Drinks Immediately, PSN Tasks NAFDAC
L-R: Pharm. Babayemi Oyekunle, chairman, Lagos PSN; Former President, PSN, Pharm. Anthony Akhimien; Former President, PSN, Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, at the event.


The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Lagos State Chapter, has charged the management of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to as a matter of national emergency stop further registration of sachet and other small alcoholic drinks, as their cheapness is contributing in no mean measure to the menace of drug abuse and crime in the country.


The pharmacists body submitted that there is an ongoing drug abuse epidemic in Nigeria, with a total of 21,213,000 Nigerians, abusing one form of substance or the other, according to the report of a National Survey, conducted by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) in 2018.


The Society has therefore saddled all regulatory agencies like the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) with the responsibility of partnering NAFDAC in ensuring the enforcement of extant Pharmacy and Drug Laws in the country, with the ultimate goal of restricting access to drugs and hard substances.


The Chairman, Lagos State PSN, Pharm. Babayemi Oyekunle, gave the charge at the opening ceremony of the 2023 Lagos PSN Scientific Week, held at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, recently, with the theme: “Access to safe and effective medicines in Nigeria: A call to action”.

Stop Registration of Sachet Alcoholic Drinks Immediately, PSN Tasks NAFDAC
Some pharmacists in the Airforce, during the National Anthem recitation at the event.


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He analysed the UNODC report thus “ The report stated that in 2017, 10.6 million people abuse cannabis, 4.6 million Nigerians abuse opiods, 2.4 million abuse cough syrup containing codeine, 2.4 million abuse sedatives and tranquillisers, 481,000 people abuse ecstasy, 340,000 abuse solvent and inhalants, 300,000 abuse prescription inhalants and amphetamines and 92,000 abuse cocaine”.


Oyekunle stressed the need for regulators to de-emphasise disciplinary measures on drug users but called for the promulgation and implementation of laws to combat illicit access and use of drugs.


He attributed the rising spate in drug abuse to several factors such as dysfunctional family systems, high unemployment rate, peer pressure, extreme poverty, poor regulatory control, poor drug distribution system, uncensored social media influence, porous border, poor implementation of Pharmacy and other drug laws, diversion of legitimate exports to illicit use, corruption and compromise at port entries, ignorance on the dangers of hard drugs, among others.


The Lagos PSN boss has also drawn the attention of the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to recent attempts by some groups in the health ministry to mutilate the configuration of the Pharmacists Consultant Cadre to Specialist Cadre, which is contrary to both national and international best practices.


“ It is imperative to state that Specialist Cadre has never been on the cards at Federal and State levels. For us at the LASG-PSN/JOHESU negotiations which provided a MOU earlier on was very unambiguous that our demand has always been and will remain Consultant Cadre and not Specialist Cadre”, he insisted.

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In his keynote address titled “Access to safe medicines based on the PCN Act 2022”, the keynote speaker and former PSN President, Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, enlightened the pharmacists on the various provisions of the Pharmacy and Drug Laws as they relate to the practice, while he called for the full implementation of NDDG as stipulated in the Act.


He categorically flayed the activities of some foreign mega-wholesalers and distributors, who according to him have now assumed the status of sole representatives of many companies, a development that encourages multinationals to exit the country, while their products are still circulating in the Nigerian market.


With the Act’s recommendation that drug matters are on the Exclusive List, he urged Federal Government agencies to prevent pharmaceutical multinationals who exit the country from further doing business in Nigeria, as such development is contrary to the development of the economy.


He said” I therefore boldly submit consequent upon the reality that drug matters are on the Exclusive List that the Federal Government and all its apparatus must not allow pharma multinationals who exit Nigeria to continue to import, distribute, sell and dispense such products in Nigeria.

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“Specifically, we demand that NAFDAC must not approve a marketing authorisation to alien parties to handle GSK products while the PCN must not register any pharma premises which seeks to surreptitiously continue GlaxoSmithKline business in Nigeria if indeed it chooses to exit Nigeria. This is to protect consumers, the pharma industry and safeguard the economy of Nigeria.


‘The quest for safe drugs compels us to encourage the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria to latch on its statutory powers to compel e-labelling of drugs in Nigeria. Proper label initiative will encourage patients to manage and maintain and understand how to use their medication to get the desired therapeutic outcome and create a verifiable measure of accountability for services rendered”.


The ACPN National Chairman, Pharm. Wale Oladigbolu, also berated the indiscriminate circulation of drugs at bus stops and online, while he charged PCN and NAFDAC to swing into action to sanitise the environment, because drugs should not be seen every where like other commodities.
























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