The Lagos State Government says it has closed 27 unregistered pharmacies and patent medicine shops in Ojo Local Government Area to rid the state of fake and illegal drug shops.
Olufemi Onanuga, the Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Primary Healthcare, said that the operation was carried out in collaboration with some other agencies.
Mr. Onanuga, in a statement issued by Adeola Salako, the Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Health, said that the state government would no longer tolerate quacks in the state.
“This is the first operation this year; I confirm that 27 out of the 31 outlets that we visited were shut.
“They are in Ojo-Igbede, Ajangbadi, Ketu-Ayetoro, Iyana Era, Iyana Iba and Isashi as well as Seriki, Kembiri, Iba, Adaloko and Okokomaiko in Ojo Local Government Area of the state.
“They were sealed for various offences including the engagement of quacks to operate community pharmacies and operating beyond the scope by licensed patent medicine shops.
“Other offences include the sale of (un)ethical products and dispensing drugs to unsuspecting citizens, illegal operation of unregistered premises, as well as displaying and storing drugs in unconducive environments.
“This compromises the potency and integrity of the drugs, thereby rendering them ineffective,” Mr. Onanuga was quoted as saying.
He said that though, some of the pharmacies visited were registered, 95 per cent of them had no qualified pharmacists on ground to attend to the patients.
Mr. Onanuga said that some of the premises also engaged in illegal clinical practices such as patients’ admission and drip setting of intravenous infusions.
“This is unacceptable; we will do the needful in terms of enforcing the law and sanctioning erring operators.
“The sealing of these pharmacies and patent medicine stores was in accordance with the provisions of Chapter C34 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provision) Act of 1999, No. 25.
“The law prohibits dispensing and wholesaling of drugs by patent medicine vendors.
“Licensed patent medicine vendors are authorised to sell only drugs that are in their original packs and in approved pack sizes, as produced by the manufacturing companies,” he said.
The agencies that carried out the operation include the Task Force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods and National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC.
Others are the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Federal Task Force on Fake Drugs and the State Rapid Respond Squad, RRS.