• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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PSN commends drug regulatory agencies for sealing drug market in Kano

PSN commends drug regulatory agencies for sealing drug market in Kano

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has commended drug regulatory agencies for sealing the Sabongeri Drug Market in Kano and enforcing the relocation of all operators in the state to the Coordinated Wholesale Centre (CWC).

A statement signed and made available to the media by the president of the PSN, Cyril Odianose Usifoh, explained that CWC was commissioned for operation in Kano since 2023 and added that the concept of CWCs for genuine pharma players currently in Open Drug Markets (ODM) has come to stay going by the Kano experience.

PSN in the statement therefore call on the state governments in Lagos, Anambra, Abia, Enugu, Oyo and Borno to give speedy building plan approvals as well as other requisite logistics support which will in turn pave way for the full construction of CWCs in those states.

The statement therefore reads: “It is imperative that the PSN which was in the forefront of agitations for the approved National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDG) in 2015 in collaboration with key stakeholders in the pharma industry declare that the NDDG which incorporates the concept of CWCs for genuine pharma players currently in Open Drug Markets (ODM) has come to stay going by the Kano experience.

“We at the PSN shall continue to emphasise the benefits inherent in PCN and NAFDAC collaborations which is the only way to redress the monumental problems in the drug distribution channels in our country.

“Once again the PSN puts it on record that the full implementation of the NDDG will allow full integration of committed players to run their business within the purview of existing statutes that drives the enforcement activities of the PCN and NAFDAC in Nigeria.

“This discourse also makes it mandatory for the PSN to encourage the National Assembly to formally complete the amendment bill of the Fake Drug Act currently before it. For us at PSN, we must formalise the PCN and NAFDAC relationship through more legislative actions beyond the existing windows in the NAFDAC Act and PCN Act 2022 which both provide for representation of key personnel of each of the agencies on the board of the partnering agency.

“The historic joint team action of Saturday, February 17, 2024 remains a water shed which we must make sustainable through the instrumentality of the Federal and State Task Forces on Fake, Counterfeit Drug and Unwholesome Foods in a well packaged and robust Act of Parliament.

“We solicit amongst other reforms increases in the penalties provided for first offenders who violate the Fake Drug Act, while subsequent trespasses must attract jail sentences without an option for fine.’’

On the other hand, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria stressed the need for the National Assembly to consider the possibilities of factoring in appropriate security squads to aid the responsibilities of the State Taskforces on their routine regulatory functions.

They also called on PCN and NAFDAC to shift attention to unregistered pharmaceutical premises to complete the cycle by tackling the plethora of illegal and unlawful drug stores in hospital facilities especially at private sector level.

Explaining further the release stated : “Stakeholders in pharmacy practice have always lamented that while PCN and NAFDAC maintains frequent surveillance, monitoring and control of registered pharmaceutical premises, it obviously closes its eyes on unregistered pharma premises including those located in the plethora of private hospital facilities.

‘’These hospital facilities often times carry drug stock far in excess of regular pharmacy facilities irrespective of whether these drugs are registered or not by NAFDAC.

“The impunity with which these brazen acts of hospital facilities are conducted encourages them to sell drugs at exorbitant prices far in excess of community pharmacies at private sector level and public pharmacies in government hospitals.

“A WHO report puts the cost of drugs in private hospitals at 184 percent above baseline prices in public pharmacies and 192 percent above community pharmacies in private sector.”