The Lagos State Taskforce on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods has shut 32 pharmacies and patent medicine stores for offences bordering on illegal operation and operating beyond scope of practice.
The Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, disclosed this yesterday after reviewing the report of the first enforcement exercise carried out by the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit of the Ministry for year 2020.
The commissioner explained that the affected pharmacies and patent medicine shops were sealed for offences including operations without license, engaging unqualified persons to man and dispense drugs to unsuspecting citizens, operating beyond scope through sale of ethical products, displaying and storing drugs in unconducive environments, which compromises the potency of the drugs there by rendering them ineffective.
He, however, stressed that only licensed patent medicine vendors are authorised to sell only drug products in their original packs in approved pack size as produced by the manufacturing companies as the law prohibits dispensing and wholesaling of drugs by patent medicine vendors as the law also prohibits wholesalers operating outside their scope by selling drugs in retail.
He said that the affected premises includes those located in Dopemu, Mangoro, Cement, Oniwaya, Ayobo-Ipaja, OrileAgege, Akinogun, Mosan and Ikola axis of Agege and Alimosho Local Government Areas of the state.
Abayomi noted that the sealing of the affected pharmacies and patent medicine stores was in accordance with the provisions of Section C34 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods Miscellaneous Provision Act of 1999.
Abayomi assured that the present administration remains committed to putting a halt to the ugly trend of having unqualified personnel deal with drugs and will continue to insist that the environment for the dispensation of medical care should be suitable for the promotion and maintenance of good health.
Speaking in the same vein, Director Pharmaceutical Services, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Moyosore Adejumo said that the state government will not relent in its efforts to stop the inherent dangers associated with the operations of unlicensed pharmaceutical outlets and drug shops.
Dr. Adejumo added that the Task Force through the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit (PIU) of the Pharmaceutical Services Directorate has been re-energised to intensify the on-going war against fake, expired and substandard drugs being peddled by unlicensed and illegal premises.
“This closure is thus part of the government’s renewed efforts to sanitize the drug distribution system and curb proliferation of fake drugs in the state,” Adejumo said.
She explained that an investigative meeting would be held with owners of the sealed premises to make further inquiries on the status of the sealed premises and to notify them of the procedures and appropriate conditions to be met for reopening in line with government regulations and payment of administrative fee.
She however noted that the enforcement and compliance raid by the State Task force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods was carried out in collaboration with the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Federal Taskforce on fake drugs and the Police Officers from Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Task Force) of Lagos Police Command.