Stakeholders in the health sector have urged Federal Government to fast-tract development and implementation of the Approved Patent Medicines List (APML) to curb menace of drug abuse in Nigeria.
They made the call on Thursday in Abuja at a planning meeting for the review of APML and identified the measure to reduce menace of drug abuse.
The meeting was organised by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), in collaboration with Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria-Parternship for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale Project (PSN-PAS).
The stakeholders included the Federal Ministry of Health, PCN, Majesty Rural Community Development Foundation, Geonita Initiative for Women and Child Development, Foundation for Family Values and Health Orientation and Empowerment, among others.
The meeting had deliberated on inclusion of drugs into the proposed APML for each category of the three tiers of PPMVs focussing on FP and other Primary Healthcare commodities.
Dr Edwin Akpotor, Senior Programme Officer, PSN-PAS, said the meeting was aimed at reviewing and reaching an agreement on a road map toward re-positioning Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendors (PPMVs).
Akpotor said that this was aimed at providing quality services at the community level.
The programme officer said due to non-stratification of the APML, it was very difficult for the regulatory agencies to enforce guidelines to rid quackery and sub-standard products from facilities across the country.
According to him, with the new APML, PPMVs will be better positioned to provide improved quality services.
In his remarks, the Registrar of PCN, Mr Elijah Mohammed, admonished stakeholders to continue to support the council and the government in strengthening health services provided by Community Pharmacists (CPs) and PPMVs.
Mohammed identified the CPs and PPMVs as the first point of call by majority of the populace seeking healthcare services.
He said that the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), through the Task Shifting and Task Sharing (TSTS), has targeted them as a means to broaden healthcare services.
Mohammed said, “The strategies to achieve this is through the expansion of the scope of primary healthcare services provided by CPs and PPMVs in order to address the nation’s poor health indices.’’
The registrar specifically identified efforts of the council in ensuring improve healthcare delivery by PPMVs to include collaboration with the Management Sciences for Health (MSH) to conduct research project.
According to him, outcome of the project is Tier Accreditation Model which stratified the PPMVs into three different tiers.
“The aim of the model is to effectively categorise and train vendors for improve regulation and healthcare services.
“The council is poised to reposition patent medicine shops to improve the spectrum and quality of healthcare service delivery in these facilities.
“In line with the repositioning bid, PCN collaborated with the Management Sciences for Health (MSH) to launch and carry out a research project aimed at improving healthcare delivery.
“The project outcome is the Tier Accreditation model which stratified the PPMVs into three tiers,’’ he said.
Similarly, Mrs Beauty Okologo, Head of Pharmaceutical Services and Deputy Director, Food and Drug, FMoH, urged the regulatory bodies to ensure strict monitoring or supervision of PPMVs.
According to her, this is to avoid defeating the intent and purpose of the APML.
Okologo urged PCN to train the vendors to enable them to carry out their duties effectively without causing harm on patients.