COVID-19: PCN seals off 439 illegal pharmaceutical premises in Akwa-Ibom

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A lady looks at hand sanitiser on a shelf at a pharmacy in Lagos, on March 20, 2020. - The Nigerian government has closed all federal schools in the country, including universities, colleges, and secondary schools as a precautionary measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP) (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)

By Felicia Imohimi
Abuja, Oct. 3, 2020 The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), says 42 Pharmacies and 397 Patent Medicine Shops were shutdown in Akwa-Ibom in September for lack of compliance to regulatory provisions.

The Registrar of the Council, Dr Elijah Mohammed, told newsmen on Saturday in Abuja that nine compliance directives were issued to others for minor offences.

The registrar noted that the council was committed to ensuring that its vision of creating an enabling and regulated environment for the provision of quality pharmaceutical services for sustainable healthcare delivery was achieved.

Mohammed, giving an update of the council’s activities in September, said the feat resulted from the ongoing effort of the PCN to clampdown on the proliferation of illegal medicine shops.

He said that the proliferation became worse since the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.

“The National Enforcement Team of the PCN visited Akwa Ibom State in September on enforcement.

”During the exercise, 42 Pharmacies and 397 Patent Medicine Shops were sealed off for lack of compliance with PCN regulatory provision in their practice and operation.

“Also nine compliance directives were issued to others for other minor offences,” he said.

The Registrar said sequel to the reconstitution of the PCN Governing Council and the subsequent appointment of the Chairman, Prof. Ahmed Mora, the statutory and Ad hoc Committees set up as operational arm have swung into action and yielding result.

He said that so far the Council’s Investigating Panel sat in September and conducted investigations on 17 pharmacists and 11 petitioners over alleged acts of professional misconduct.

The panel, according to him, is able to resolve some issues, while the unresolved ones will be referred to the council’s Disciplinary Tribunal.

He, however, reiterated that the council did not tolerate misconduct and mischief among its stakeholders.

“In the same vein, the 14-member Ad hoc Committee on Pharmacy Practices and PCN functions deliberated extensively on various issues bothering on evidence-based care and pharmaceutical care.

Other issues the committee deliberated on are pharmacist specialists’ services and repositioning pharmacy training and practice in Nigeria, in line with current realities.

“Also, to curb the illicit use of drugs amongst the youth, PCN collaborated with Mr Anietie Umoren and Mr Joseph Edionwele, in Essen Udim LGA of Akwa Ibom to sensitised the youth to the dangers of drugs.

”The council also collaborated with Iruekpen in Esan Central West/Igueben Federal Constituency of Edo to sensitive the youth.

“The council hosted two advocacy workshops on drug abuse in the month of September,” he noted

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