Martins Ifijeh

The Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) has decried federal government’s lack of political will to address chaotic drug distribution in Nigeria, noting that the incessant postponement of the implementation of open drug distribution is worrisome and embarrassing.

Stating this during the 2017 Community Pharmacists Education Conference in Lagos recently, the Chairman, ACPN, Lagos State, Biola Paul-Ozieh said government must take decisive action if it intends to tackle the abysmally poor drug distribution channel in Nigeria.

She said the, “lack of implementation of the open drug distribution in the country has in no small measure affected availability and accessibility to medicine leading in part to the poor health indices if the country, (187th out of 190th).

“The postponement is way too much by the Ministry of Health because this is the umpteenth time it has been postponed, and this has led to abuse of drugs by our youths on a daily basis.”

While commending the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole for putting a round peg in a round hole in the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), she called on the new Director General of the Agency, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, to strengthen the fight against counterfeit medicines and products in the country.

On his part, the National Chairman, ACPN, Dr. Alkali Albert Kelong, said the theme of the conference; ‘Community Pharmacist: Healthcare Interventions for National Development’ came at the right time, as ACPN has a direct bearing on the development of the health indices of the nation.

Kelong said community pharmacists’ intervention involves the contributions of members to national development as they carry out a lot of health promotional activities in their vicinity which includes vaccination and awareness campaigns.

“We also make sure that people take their drugs appropriately, carry out routine checks and it contributes in ensuring that we have clinical outcome that is good and can enable the patient to go back to work, which directly increase our domestic products because a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.”

He also encouraged NAFDAC to up their games in the fight against fake drugs by ensuring that points of entry must be checked to curtail inflow of fake drugs, adding that they should make sure their laboratories are in good form to test the quality of the products and on the post market survey.