Nigerian govt to end drug hawking in August 2017 – Official

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The Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, PCN, Elijah Mohammed, has restated the Federal Government’s commitment to ending open drug hawking by August 1, 2017.

Mr. Mohammed gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Monday in Abuja. He described this as part of efforts to regulate drug distribution system in the country.

He said the move would assist in curtailing the menace of open drug sale.

Mr. Mohammed attributed major challenges in the health system to open drug hawking.

He added that a lot of the hawkers sold fake and adulterated drugs.

The registrar stated that coordinated wholesale centres are currently being built in four states of the federation where open sale of drugs is predominant.

H said that the drug dealers would be relocated to the centres to enable them to carry out their activities in a coordinated manner.

According to him, the centres would go a long way to curtailing drug hawking, among others, as there would be strict regulation of drug distribution and sales at the centres.

NAN reports that open drugs marketers or dealers are unlicensed medicines sellers in and around the streets and major markets like Idumota in Lagos, Onitsha over head bridges, Sabongari in Kano, Nyanya in Abuja, motor parks among others.

Noting the locations of the centres as Kano, Lagos, Onitsha, and Aba, Mr. Mohammed however said that construction of those facilities are currently on-going.

He said all dealers would be relocated to those centres to carry out their activities and would be properly regulated.

The registrar said anyone cut operating outside those centres after the specified date would be arrested and prosecuted by security agency.

“The issue of open drug market will come to an end by Aug 1st next year and we are working toward that and have put in place necessary measures to take care of that which is the coordinated wholesale centres.

“The coordinated wholesale centre in Onitsha which is situated in Oba will take care of the Onitsha overhead bridge. And we have inspected the location and been granted approval and development has started.

“We have just four centres to address the major open drug market and we have only one centre in each of the states where those operations are predominant because it was only one open drug market that have been identified,” Mr. Mohammed said.

(NAN)


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  • Du Covenant

    Unfortunately these measures will not help the menace of sub-standard medicines in Nigeria and Africa at large. More stricter conditions are required to keep the quality of medicines at an acceptable level than we do in Nigeria. Medicines are not candies and should only be handled by trained individuals not everyone who chooses to. My question is why are these people willing to get into this sector?. This is an area that is heavily regulated in sane societies, I do not understand why we always try to cut corners in Nigeria?.

    • Musa

      The major challenge with qualuty of pharmaceuticals is the high level involvent of the igno people in 5he business. You can trust even their professionals let alone the quacks. The most deadly crime in the system is being exhibited by licensed professionals hence very difficult to check

  • Obinna

    Good but inadequate measure. What about sales of prescription-only drugs over-the-counter that is perpetrated by drug sellers, including pharmacists and their sales persons?
    Should we be surprised that there is high resistance to antibiotics in the country or that there is a surge in liver and kidney failures due to abuse? If the pharmaceutical council wants to clean up, they know the right things to do.

  • Kingo Kizito

    It’s only in Nigeria that you see a primary six school drop out learning how to sell medicines. In other countries, medicines are sold by graduated and qualified pharmacists and chemists. To end the abuses, selling of medicines should be done by qualified people, who are registered. They have to be receiving their supplies from registered companies. Chemists don’t have to be going to buy the drugs themselves. They have to be receiving the supplies from companies recognized by the govt. So you create jobs when some qualified graduates serve as a distributors to qualified chemists. You promote research and improvement when pharmaceutical companies will have to look for markets for supply. Wherever the chemist stores are does not matter. The most important thing is that they have the licence and they are validly registered. Then, Nigerians should be informed about govt. recognized chemists and the defaulters should be made to pay heavily. Then chemists who give out medicines that require doctors prescription without asking for it, should be made to pay heavily. Whoever is caught selling fake drugs should face 30 years imprisonment. Nigerians are die hard and need hard measures to be controlled.