The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria has cautioned operators of illegal medicine stores against poisoning the unsuspecting public with medicines that do not meet regulations and guidelines, especially in this era of COVID-19.
Registrar of the council, Elijah Mohammed, who spoke to reporters in Lagos, said the council understands the fact that drugs are poisons that must be used as directed to avoid their harmful effects. Represented by the council’s Director, Inspection and Monitoring, Anthonia Aruya, Mohammed said while medicines were expected to be sold in highly-regulated environments, allowing people to sell all sorts of unregulated drugs was totally unacceptable to the council. He added that medicines sold in unregistered outlets could not be ascertained to offer quality, safety and efficacy as those sold in regulated facilities.
He observed that though the council had suspended its enforcement team due to the lockdown occasioned by COVID-19, it was forced to resume when it discovered that illegal medicine outlets were springing up because of the exemption accorded the pharmaceutical sector as one of the essential services provider. It was to this end, according to him, that the national enforcement team of the PCN had to be in Lagos since August 10, to ensure compliance to the guidelines on COVID-19 was monitored.
“We are aware of the pandemic that has been ravaging countries globally. The PCN has been taking steps to contribute its quota to the concerted effort to flatten the curve of the pandemic in Nigeria.Stakeholders are supposed to have necessary training to handle medicine based on the scope of operation they have been licensed to operate”, he said.