PCN Moves to Ensure Integrity of Medicines in Abia, Seals 397 Premises

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Emmanuel Ugwu, Umuahia

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has taken steps to ensure drugs distributed in Abia State conform to the integrity specified by manufacturers in order to safeguard the health of the people.

To this end, the enforcement team of the council has shut down 397 premises comprising 37 pharmacies and 360 patent medicine stores over various offences including operating without registration with PCN, failure to renew license.

Deputy Director Enforcement, PCN, Stephen Esumobi made this known recently at a press conference in Umuahia, after the end of enforcement exercise which took the team to 441 premises across Abia State.

He said that the PCN got “added impetus” to move against illegal premises following a marching order issued by the National Assembly enjoining the PCN to close down all illegal premises across the country.

Aside from the NASS directive, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole had recently directed the PCN to ensure that all warehouses and locations where drugs are stored, sold, distributed or dispensed are registered with the PCN.
“The facility inspection is carried out to ensure that the right storage environment is maintained to preserve the pharmacological and pharmacokinetic integrity of the medicines,” he said.

Esumobi further stated that other areas of compliance include that pharmacies were also expected to have qualified pharmacists to supervise the dispensing of ethical products to members of the public.

He said that after visiting many premises in the urban and rural areas the enforcement team observed that “so many premises commenced operations without fulfilling minimum requirements for registration while others failed to renew their licenses to operate such premises or shops,” he said.

He warned the public to desist from patronising pharmacies or patent medicine stores that fail to comply with the required regulations a stipulated by the PCN.