By Asma’u Ahmad
Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Mr Nurudeen Mohammed on Tuesday said the Federal Government would stop open sale and hawking of drugs by 2017.
Mohammed who disclosed this in an interview with Health Reporters in Abuja said the council is collaborating with law enforcement agencies and other regulatory bodies to tackle the menace added that, open drug marketers were expected to move to designated centers like the National Drug Distribution Centers and Coordinated Wholesale Centers to carry out their activities.
It has been reported that open drugs marketers are unlicensed medicines sellers in and around the streets including major markets like Idumota in Lagos, Onitsha, over head bridges, Sabongari in Kano and Nyanya-FCT, among others.
According to Mohammed Blaming the major challenges in health system on open drug dealers is a lot of them, due to lack of legislations infuse fake and adulterated drugs into the system which he said has further compounded the disease burden of patients and further increased mortality rate in the country.
The registrar who described open drug markets as the den of most fake drugs in the country explained that, the Federal Government in its bid to curtail the menace of open drug sale, among others has established the National Drug Distribution Guideline (NDDG), which incorporates Coordinated Wholesale Centers, among others added that, check list for the National Drug Distribution Centers and Coordinated Wholesale Centers had been well established and quality control mechanisms have been put in place.
According to him, the centers are component of the NDDG structures which are private sector driven facilities saddled with the task to expedite action towards construction of those facilities to avoid being sanctioned at the expiration of the set date.
He said, “We have discussed this with all stakeholders including the marketers and we have all agreed on the time frame” hence, the open drug markets will definitely be relocated to those designated centers and a two-year period has been put in place for constructions of such facilities that will house PCN, NAFDAC, Police and other related organizations.
Furthermore, the registrar explained that drug hawkers or sellers have been given a two-year period to move into such structures to carry out their services, stressing that the measure is aimed at ensuring proper regulation of their activities indicated that all hands must be on deck to ensure that it will no longer be business as usual for the operators.