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PCN Seals 378 Pharmacies, drug stores In Taraba

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) says it has sealed some 378 out of the 546 pharmaceutical premises it visited in Taraba State.

PCN said it sealed off the facilities because they failed to comply with the Council’s guidelines.

The Council’s Director of Enforcement, Stephen Esumobi, who disclosed this on Thursday evening to reporters in Jalingo, said the affected premises comprised 34 pharmacies and 344 Patent Medicine Vendors’ Shops.

According to Mr Esumobi, the move is in line with the federal government’s policy of streamlining the drug distribution system in the country.

As a consequence, he said, the PCN stepped up its enforcement activities across the nation, in an effort to promote and entrench a safe pharmaceutical landscape.

The move is also designed to ensure rational drug distribution, effective and quality medicines down the distribution value chain, improved access to medicines in rural and inaccessible areas, adequate and appropriate personnel in all categories of pharmaceutical premises, and maintenance, as well as improvement of standards of practice in line with global best practice, among others.

Mr Esumobi also announced that 24 compliance directives were issued for various offenses, such as poor sanitary conditions, poor documentation, and non-display of premises and pharmacists’ annual licenses.

Stephen Esumobi, PCN Director Enforcement (middle) during a press briefing in Jalingo.

He, however, informed his audience that most of the Patent Medicine Vendors were immersed in activities far beyond their scope and were also stocking products outside their approved drug list, including ethical medicines and substances of abuse.

The PCN has also put in place guidelines derived from its enabling act, in order to guide the distribution of medicines from the manufacturers until they get to the end-users, he revealed, stressing the need for all stakeholders to comply accordingly in the interest of public health.

The PCN official also called on all pharmaceutical facilities, including drug manufacturing factories, where the drugs are sold, warehoused, distributed or dispensed to register with PCN and ensure that they renew their licenses annually as required by law.

During the one-week field exercise, PCN operatives visited 14 out of the 16 local government areas of the state, including Jalingo, Ardo Kola, Sardauna, Bali, Gashaka, Kurmi, Donga, Zing, Lau, Gassol, Ibi, Wukari, Ussa, and Yerro.

Reporting by Sani Sulaiman; Editing by Daniel Adejo and Tony Okerafor