From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
The Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharm. Nurudeen Mohammed, has identified lack of adequate training and language barrier as parts of the major challenges facing Patent and Propriety Medicines Vendors (PPMVs) in Kano.
The Registrar who spoke through the Director, Inspection and Monitoring, Pharm. Anthonia Aruya, after a Special Inspection and Monitoring tour in Kano observed that, “many stakeholders open medicine stores at will without recourse to regulations, some could not write or read in English which makes one wonder how they are able to give the right medicines to the right patient.
“overall, there is a displayed lack of understanding of the fact that handling of medicines is firstly a professional service before consideration of the business component.”
The Registrar insisted that, “the PCN will follow the process through to provide required guidance to improve the level of service delivery in Kano state.”
According to him, two Committees responsible for monitoring and inspection across the state have been re-activated to move round twice a week to ensure strict compliance of professionalism in the handling and sell of medicines, both wholesale and retail.
“The PCN boss further stated that, “professional aspect of pharmacy should take precedent over the business aspect. We inspect and monitor to ensure that they do what is right.”
He, however, lamented that, “people don’t submit themselves to training before handling the scope of medicines that is approved for them to sell. This we observed here in Kano, particularly, in the hinterlands.”
He, however, hinted that, “we did not make any arrest, because arrests are made when there is resistance. Through out our assignment here in Kano, there was no resistance.”
According to him, “at the end of the exercise, a total of 996 premises were visited, comprising of 65 pharmacies and 931 PPMV shops.
“Six hundred and seventy-seven premises were sealed, comprising of 41 pharmacies and 638 PPVM shops for not registering or renewing their premises licence as required by law or infringing on any other provisions of the law bordering PCN mandate.”
He added that 15 compliance directives were issued to three pharmacies and 12 PPMVs for lapses that can easily be corrected.
Pharm. Nurudeen, however, advised the public to, “look out for the Pharmacist’s annual licence to practice and the premises certificate which should be conspicuously displayed or made readily available and the licence of the PPMV to avoid patronizing quacks.”
He warned that medicines sold in unregistered outlets cannot be quaranteed to have efficacy, quality and safety as those sold in regulated facilities.
While expressing appreciation to security agencies, Kano state Ministry of Health, and other stakeholders, the PCN Registrar, maintained that, “our activities is geared towards cleaning and sanitizing the system.”