By Sheriff Balogun
A pharmacist, Mr. Odukoya Taofik Oladipupo has called on the federal government to urgently deploy technological means to tackle the influx of fake drugs into the country.
Oladipupo, Executive Officer, Vanguard Pharmacy spoke in Abeokuta, during the inauguration of the Abeokuta branch of the pharmaceutical company. He appealed to the government to start the enforcement of strict control and regulation of drugs imported into the country.
The Executive Officer of Vanguard Pharmacy company, a one stop drug company with two branches in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, lamented that the drug industry in Nigeria lacked standard distribution channel system.
He stressed: “We ought to have a standard distribution channel of drugs in the country but the problem we have today is that drugs come in from anywhere and we cannot trace them.”
Oladipupo identified one of the causes of fake drugs distribution as corruption and therefore urged the government to not only ensure the establishment of a standard distribution channel of drugs, but also ensure its full implementation.
He also called on the government to urgently address the problem of power supply which he said was very key in healthcare delivery, lamenting that it had been affecting the health sector.
He said, “There has been a campaign in the last two, three years by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) against the influx of fake drugs into the country. One of the solutions is to go the technology way.
“The only way we can track distribution of fake drug in the country is through the use of technology. We do not have a standard distribution channel of drugs. But once we can establish a good drugs distribution channel, it will make life easy, in that every drug coming in to the country will be monitored down to the last line, the end user and through this, you can monitor.”
He said the Minister of Health recently gave the go ahead for the implementation of a standard distribution channel of drugs which the fight had been on since 2013. “It will be implemented by next year, and we are hoping that it will help in eradicating open market dealings on drug in the country,” he affirmed.
He said no institution can exist in isolation, adding that distribution industry in Nigeria cannot run away from the corruption that exists in the country.
He wondered how the country still can’t get rid of these fake medications, saying people were supposed to be stationed at the port, land, sea and other borders doing their job but some corrupted ones among them take bribe for them to pass the drugs without proper checks.