The Lagos State Ministry of Health through a Taskforce on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods has shut 20 pharmacies and patent medicine stores for illegal practices.
This was contained in a statement released on Thursday by Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, the spokesperson for the ministry.
Mr Ogunbanwo said in the statement that affected pharmacies and patent medicine stores were shut for contravening regulations guiding the operations of pharmacies and patent medicine stores, including indulging in illegal practices and failing to comply with regulatory standard.
He said the enforcement and compliance raid was a joint operation by the Task force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods, the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Federal Taskforce on fake drugs and the Police Officers from Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Task Force) of Lagos Police Command.
According to the Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, the affected pharmacies and patent medicine shops were sealed for offences including “inappropriate storage conditions of drugs, absence of licenced pharmacists during business hours, selling of drugs not on the approved list and the display of expired drugs for sale.”
The pharmacies affected are located at Shomolu, Bariga and Oworonshoki areas of the State.
Mr Abayomi said the operation of the taskforce was in continuation of the war being waged against fake drugs and illegal drug shops in the state.
“The sealing of the affected pharmacies and patent medicine stores was in accordance with the provisions of Section C34 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods Miscellaneous Provision Act of 1999,” he said.
The Commissioner said only licensed patent medicine vendors are authorised to sell drug products in their original and approved pack size as produced by the manufacturing companies.
He disclosed that the operations of the Taskforce on Fake Drugs will be sustained and intensified until all parties in the pharmaceutical value chain adhere strictly to the provisions of the law.
Speaking on the development, Oyenusi Omolambe, director, Pharmaceutical Services, said the state government will not relent in its efforts to stop the inherent dangers associated with the operations from unlicensed pharmaceutical outlets and drug shops.
She said the Taskforce has been re-energised to intensify the on-going war against fake, expired and substandard drugs being peddled by unlicensed and illegal premises.
“This closure is thus part of the government’s renewed efforts to sanitize the drug distribution system and curb proliferation of fake drugs in the state,” she said.
A total number of 103 health facilities in Lagos had been shut by the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) for quackery and contravening medical rules.
Similarly, the ministry in February shut 16 unregistered pharmacies and patent medicine stores in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state for unethical practices.
The ministry assured that it will continue enforcement operations to ensure sanity in the pharmaceutical value chain in the state.
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