Lagos Govt restates commitment to sanitise drugs distribution

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Lagos, Sept. 23, 2020 (NAN) Prof. Akin Abayomi, Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, says the state remains committed to halting the ugly trend of having unqualified personnel handling pharmaceutical products.

Abayomi spoke in Lagos on Wednesday while reviewing the reports of the sealing of 21 Pharmacies, Patent Medicine shops and unlicenced premises by the state’s Task Force.

He said the state government would continue to insist that the environment for the dispensation of medical care should be suitable for the promotion and maintenance of good health.

According to him, the affected pharmacies and patent medicine stores were located at Alakuko, Ajegunle, Ologogoro, Ijaiye, Abule-Egba, Agbado and Agege in Alimosho, Ifako-Ijaiye and Agege Local Government areas of Lagos.

The commissioner said they were shut by the State Task Force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods for offences bordering on illegal operation and operating beyond scope of practice through sale of unethical products.

Abayomi explained that the affected premises were sealed for offences including: operating without licence, engaging unqualified persons to man and dispense drugs to unsuspecting citizens.

The commissioner said other offences were displaying and storing drugs in unconducive environments which compromised the potency of the drugs and render them ineffective.

He said such practices were unacceptable and vowed that the state government would do whatever was necessary to enforce the law and sanction erring operators.

The commissioner, however, said that only licenced patent medicine vendors were authorised to sell only drug products in their original packs in approved pack size as produced by the manufacturing companies.

Abayomi said the law prohibits dispensing and wholesaling of drugs by patent medicine vendors, and also prohibits wholesalers operating outside their scopes by selling drugs in retail.

Also, Mrs Mosunmola
Backley, Acting Director, Pharmaceutical Services, Lagos State Ministry of Health, said that the state government would not relent in its efforts to stop the inherent dangers associated with operations from unlicenced pharmaceutical outlets and drug shops.

Backley said that the task force through the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit (PIU) of the Pharmaceutical Services Directorate, had been re-energised to intensify the ongoing war against fake, expired and substandard drugs being peddled by unlicenced and illegal premises.

“This closure is thus part of the government’s renewed efforts to sanitise the drug distribution system and curb proliferation of fake drugs in the state,” Backley said.

She said that an investigative meeting would be held with owners of the sealed premises to make further inquiries on the status of the premises.

Backley said that the meeting would notify them of the procedures and appropriate conditions to be met for reopening in line with the government regulations and payment of administrative fee.

She said that the enforcement and compliance raid by the state task force was done in collaboration with the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN), and Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN).

Others are Federal Task Force on Fake Drugs and the Police Officers from Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Task Force) of Lagos Police Command. (NAN)

Lawal Abdullahi-Jubril

Mass Communication Budding Expert