The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria on Friday said it had sealed off 62 pharmacies as well as 371 patent and proprietary medicine vendors outlets in Rivers State for contravening stipulated standards.
The council said the sealing of the outlets followed a recent inspection conducted in the state to ensure that quality, safety and efficacy of medicines were maintained from the producer down to the end user.
Registrar of the council, Nurudeen Mohammed, stated this while briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt.
Speaking through the Director of Inspection and Monitoring, Anthonia Aruya, he noted that some outlets were given compliance directives for various offences.
Maintaining that some of the sealed outlets in different parts of the state were operated by quacks, Mohammed explained that others that were sealed off operated beyond their scope.
He explained that most of the affected outlets operated in unhygienic environments while others handled improperly controlled substances and dispensed ethical and prescription drugs without the presence of a pharmacist.
He said, “Observations from the field in Rivers State revealed that many people go into the sale of medicines without following due process; others do not have the requisite knowledge or skills to handle medicines on their premises or are operating beyond their approved scope.
“The implications of these can best be imagined, exposing the general public to great danger.
“Various parts of the state were visited during this period. At the end of the exercise, a total of 554 premises comprising 148 pharmacies and 406 patent and proprietary medicine outlets were visited; 433 premises were sealed, comprising 62 pharmacies and 371 PPMV outlets, while 13 premises comprising seven pharmacies and six PPMV shops were given compliance directives.”
He advised the general public to buy drugs from registered pharmacies in the state as well as patent and proprietary medicine outlets.
Mohammed also advised residents to insist on sighting current pharmaceutical licences in pharmacies in order to avoid patronising quacks.
“The general public is advised to ask for the registration status of facilities where they access their medicines by requesting for the current licences from any pharmaceutical outlets to safeguard themselves from patronising quacks,” Mohammed said.