By Hassan Zaggi
The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has formally inaugurated its disciplinary tribunal six years after being dormant.
This is even as three earing pharmacists have been dragged before the tribunal for refusal to remit proceeds of the drugs given to them by the manufacturers to sell.
The Chairman of the PCN Governing Board, Prof. Ahmed Mora, disclosed this to journalists after the sitting of the disciplinary tribunal in Abuja.
The disciplinary tribunal, he said, is expected to sit again before the end of this year to hear more cases.
Most cases, Prof. Mora, explained, pass through the investigative panel before getting to the disciplinary tribunal.
“The bottom line is that the disciplinary tribunal has been inaugurated and have started hearing. I assure you that before the end of the year, we are going to sit again to actually make a pronouncement on one case and continue with other cases.
“No case comes to the tribunal fresh, it has to go through the investigative panel first,” Prof. Mora said.
While explaining the nature of the three cases attended to by the disciplinary tribunal, Prof. Mora said: “The main cases are pharmacists defrauding their employers either by not remitting the required amount of money after selling the drugs given to them.
“Some of them going away with pharmaceutical products and not being traced. This is not a criminal tribunal, this borders on professional misconduct and the gravity of the offences has the consequences of either delisting from the Register of the PCN for some time or for life.
“The issue of drugs which PCN regulates has a bearing between life and death and we don’t take it lightly. We expect pharmacists to live above board.
“We took three cases today, the tribunal sits here. We don’t go from place to place.”
Responding to questions, the Registrar of the PCN, Elisha Mohammed, disclosed that before the middle of the year 2022, Nigeria will have over 30 universities offering pharmacy courses in their institutions.
This, according to him, is a good development that will help boost pharmacy education in the country and increase the number of pharmacists practicing and contributing their quota to the development of country.
“As at today, we have about 22 universities offering pharmacy in their institutions and we have about 8 pending to be accredited by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria.
“I believe by mid-2022, we should be having about 30 universities in the country offering pharmacy in their institutions. That will help to boost the number of pharmacists we are producing and thereby increase the number of pharmacists that will be rendering pharmaceutical services to Nigerians in this country.”