No fewer than 387 pharmacies has been shut down over unethical practices and lack of compliance by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN). The pharmacies which include 44 pharmacies and 343 patent medicine shops were shut down in Benue state.  

According to the Director, Inspection and Monitoring of PCN, Anthonia Aruya, the pharmacies were issued compliance directives for various offences ranging from poor handling of controlled substances, sale and dispensing of ethical/ prescription drugs without the supervision of a pharmacist, unhygienic environment and poor documentation among others.  

Why this mattersAruya made it known that this crackdown on uncompliant pharmacies was part of the PCN’s plan which is aimed at sanitising the system for better pharmaceutical service delivery to the good people of the state and the nation at large. 

She also said that the council is channeling efforts into making sure the drug distribution value chain promotes safe, effective and quality medicines distributed in registered and licensed stores. 

Aruya said important areas scrutinized by the PCN included manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, retail, hospital, pharmacies and the patent and proprietary medicines vendors shops.  

More details: The director emphasized the need for pharmacies to conform and comply with all the necessary rules and regulations guiding their profession. She warned that any premises found selling above their scope of operation such as sale and dispensing of ethical products without the presence of superintendent pharmacists or handling of controlled medicines by non-pharmacist is operating in violation of the law. 

How the consumers can protect themselves: While speaking further, the council advised the general public to always ask for the registration status of facilities where they access their medicines by requesting for the current lance as issued by the PCN from any pharmaceutical outlet to safeguard themselves from patronizing quacks. 

It is also pertinent to note that when one purchases drugs from any store, the registration number and manufacturing/expiry date should be checked.