No fewer than 24 pharmacies, patent medicine shops and unlicensed premises at Abule Egba, Alagbado, kola, Meiran, Ekoro and Oko-Oba in Ifako Ijaiye and Alimosho Local Government areas of Lagos were sealed last Wednesday by the Lagos State Taskforce on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods for offences bordering on illegal operation and operating beyond scope of practice.
The Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi who disclosed this at the weekend while reviewing the report of the enforcement exercise carried out by Task Force stated that 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 Provision Act of 1999.
He explained that the enforcement which is part of the mandates of the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit (PIU) of the Ministry of Health is in line with the State government drive to put a halt to the ugly trend of having unqualified personnel deal with drugs.
Abayomi averred that the State government will continue to insist that the environment for the dispensation of medical care should be suitable for the promotion and maintenance of good health for citizens.
The Commissioner explained that the affected pharmacies and patent medicine shops were sealed for offences such as operations without license, engaging unqualified persons to man and dispense drugs to unsuspecting citizens, operating beyond scope through sale of ethical products, displaying and storing drugs in unconducive environments which compromises the potency of the drugs there by rendering them ineffective. He stated further that some of the premises visited engaged in illegal clinical practices such as patient admission and setting of intravenous infusions which is unacceptable.
He vowed that the State Government will do whatever is necessary to enforce the law and sanction erring operators.
While noting that the recent operation of the taskforce was coming on the heels of the war being waged against fake drugs and illegal drug shops, Abayomi warned that the activities of the State Task Force on Fake Drugs would not only be sustained, but intensified until operators in the sector adhere strictly to the provisions of the law on the operation of pharmacies and patent medicine shops, in order to safeguard the health of the citizenry.
He noted that only licensed patent medicine vendors are authorized to sell only drug products in their original packs in approved pack size as produced by the manufacturing companies as the law prohibits dispensing and wholesaling of drugs by patent medicine vendors as the law also prohibits wholesalers operating outside their scope by selling drugs in retail.
Speaking in the same vein, Director Pharmaceutical Services in the Ministry, Dr. Moyosore Adejumo said that 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 added that the Task Force has been re-energized 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” Adejumo said.
She explained that an investigative meeting would be held with owners of the sealed premises to make further inquiries on the status of the sealed premises and to notify them of the procedures and appropriate conditions to be met for reopening in line with government regulations and payment of administrative fee.
The enforcement and compliance raid by the State Task force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods was carried out in collaboration with 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.