Illegal drug sales are fueling insecurity, warns pharmacy board

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Of Emmanuel AdeyemiLokoja

Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) warned that the unauthorized sale of drugs by patient drug sellers and unregistered premises is fueling insecurity in the country even as it sealed 311 premises in Kogi state for non-compliance with council rules and regulations .

It has been learned that there has been an increase in the use of illicit drugs among young people in some parts of the country with the majority of those who abuse drugs use violent crimes, such as armed robbery and kidnapping for ransom, to sustain their addiction.

Director and Head of the Law Enforcement Department, Stephen Esumobi, speaking to reporters at the weekend in lokoja over the weekend, said it had become necessary for the NCP to ‘intensify its enforcement activities to ensure that medicines remain safe, effective and of good quality as they move from one level of the distribution chain to the next to consumers.

While expressing concern that some drug-trafficking patients could barely read or write, Esumobi wonder how they could properly dispense the drugs.

He said NCP law enforcement teams had been in Kogi since the beginning of the week as part of efforts to streamline the drug distribution system in the state. He said that at the end of the fiscal year, a total of 390 premises were visited, including 342 patent drug stores and 48 pharmacies.

“A total of 311 premises have been sealed, including 15 pharmacies and 296 patent drug stores. A total of two compliance directives were issued, while three patent medicine vendors were arrested for breaking PCN seals. Most of the premises have been sealed for offenses such as operating without registration or renewal of premises certificates, unauthorized sale of performance enhancing drugs and drugs of abuse, poor access control to the poison cabinet, registration of premises by personnel working in the healthcare facility in and out of state, storage and sale of prescription and other ethical products by vendors of patent medicines, among others.

Esumobi advised the public to source drugs from registered and validly licensed pharmacies and over-the-counter drugs from registered patent drug stores.

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