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Headline Health News Nigeria Special Report

About the new Pharmacy Council of Nigeria Law

PCN Governing Council Chairman, Prof. Ahmed T. Mora and PCN Registrar, Ibrahim Babashehu Ahmed

The Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN), a Federal Government parastatal established by Act 91 of 1992 (Cap P17 LFN 2004), is charged with the responsibility of regulating and controlling Pharmacy Education, Practice and Training in all aspects and ramifications.

Pursuant to this, the PCN is responsible for the accreditation of training institutions, registration and licensure of all Pharmacists, Pharmaceutical Premises (Manufacturing, Importation, Distribution, Wholesale, Retail, Hospital Pharmacies) as well as the issuance of Permit to Pharmacy Technicians and registration and Licensure of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on the 29th of August, signed into law the bill of the  Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (Establishment) Act, 2022, which repeals the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Act Cap. P17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and enacts the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (Establishment) Act, 2022, charged with the responsibility, amongst others, of regulating and controlling the education, training and practice of pharmacy and related matters in Nigeria.

Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN)

•       The PCN Determines what standard of knowledge and skill are to be attained by persons seeking to become Pharmacists in Nigeria

•       Establishes and maintains a register of pharmacists and secures the publication from time to time of the list of those names as entered in the register

•       Issues pharmacists Oath and Code of Ethics

•       Appoints pharmaceutical inspectors to ensure the enforcement of the provisions of the law by inspection and monitoring of premises where pharmaceutical endeavours take place.

•       Maintains a register of Pharmacy Technicians.

The New PCN Law

The Chairman, Governing Council of the PCN, Professor Ahmed Mora said the new law strengthens the office of the Registrar on regulatory activities, practice, control of pharmacy education and training in Nigeria.

The law confers powers on the Registrar to suspend, revoke, withdraw or cancel premises licences of erring pharmacists, as well as to regulate all stakeholders involved in pharmacy distribution chain.

The name changed from “Pharmacists Council of Nigeria” to “Pharmacy Council of Nigeria”.

He said under the new PCN Act, the registrar is now a member of the board and is better positioned to contribute to the deliberations in council, other than just taking minutes which the old law provided for.

The New Pharmacy Council of Nigeria Act has also expanded the functions of the council to inspect, approve, license, and regulate the registration and practice of pharmacy.

From the pharmacists to the manufacturer, the importer, the wholesaler, the community Pharmacists, the hospital pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and the patent and proprietors medicine vendors: they are all expressly under the ambit of the new law.

The chairman of the governing board explained that the new law empowers pharmaceutical inspectors to seal premises, while the federal high court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine criminal and civil matters relating to pharmaceutical industry.

Penalty and fines for defaulting pharmacists was between N250,000 – N1,000, but under the new Pharmacy Council of Nigeria Act, it has increased from between N250,000- N2,000,000.

The Registrar on PCN , Babashehu Ahmed said with the powers conferred on his office under the new Act, especially as a member of the council,  the PCN is better  positioned to enforce adherence to minimum benchmark in training of pharmacists. 

The council has a particular number based on the facilities available for training, put in place as approved admission quota.

Anything beyond that will not be accepted. This is putting in place quality control mechanism to ensure that institutions only train the number of professionals they have capacity to train, such that you do not have people coming out without sufficient capacity to deliver on the job.

Reporting by Maureen Eke; Editing by Daniel Adejo and Tony Okerafor