• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Ebonyi warns patent dealers against sale of regulated-drugs

Nigerians resort to harmful alternatives as cost of drugs spike

The Ebonyi government on Monday warned that any patent medicine dealer found stocking or selling regulated drugs in the state would be prosecuted.

The permanent secretary, Ministry of Health, Ebonyi, Hyacinth Ote, gave the advice at a one-day sensitisation workshop for patent medicine dealers in the state of Abakaliki.

The workshop was organised by the Ebonyi command, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in conjunction with the National Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers.

It is to mark the 2013 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking.

Ote said that controlled or regulated drugs had potential for abuse, adding that this necessitated the regulation of their use.

He said that the controlled drugs required a doctor to prescribe and a pharmacist to dispense.

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“Since patent and proprietary medicine vendors are neither doctors nor pharmacists, the simple logic is that they have no business with the sale of controlled drugs.

“Any patent medicine vendor found stocking or selling those products is breaching the law and needs to be prosecuted,” he said.

Ote explained that a vendor was expected to confine himself to the sale of the ‘over the counter drugs’.

“Abuse of drugs may lead to psychological and physical dependence,” he warned.

Ralph Igwenagu, the state NDLEA commander advised medicine vendors to avoid been used as a tool in the distribution and sale of illegal psychoactive substances.

“This warning has become necessary because of your proximity to the people. You must resist this temptation at all cost.

“Drug abuse has the devastating consequences of social and health-related problems such as road and industrial accidents, breakdown of families, increased criminal activities, among others,” he said.

Simon Nweze, the president of the association, said the workshop would help update their members with the necessary knowledge.

He said this had become necessary in the fight against illicit drugs, trafficking, purchase and sale.