Pharmacists’ Council Closes Drug Market, Seals off 452 Pharmacy Stores

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Amby Uneze in Owerri

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has closed a drug market along Douglas Road, Owerri, the Imo State capital for violating federal government’s policy on relocation of drug markets into regulated centres as well as the regulations guiding handling of pharmaceutical products and sale of medicines.

The council also sealed off 452 premises comprised of 19 pharmacies and 434 Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendors (PPMV), otherwise known as patent medicine shops.

In a press briefing in Owerri recently, the Director of Inspection and Monitoring of the council, Pharm. Anthonia Aruya said nine arrests were made during the enforcement exercise of the council which started in the state since June 29, 2020.

She said, “A major observed non-compliance is the fact that despite the federal government’s explicit policy direction and the PCN’s guidance to stakeholders on relocation of markets into regulated centres (Coordinated Wholesale Centres), a new drug market was discovered recently set up in this state. The PCN has sealed that market preparatory for evacuation.”

According to her, the council had visited 557 premises that comprised 68 pharmacies as well as 489 patent medicine shops.

Aruya who represented the PCN Registrar, Pharm. Nurudeen Mohammed disclosed that apart from those that were sealed off, ten pharmacies and one patent medicine shop were issued with compliance directives for poor handling of controlled drugs as well as sale and dispensing of ethical drugs without supervision of the pharmacists.