Nigerian authorities have sealed at least 25,000 illegal pharmacies in the past eight years.
The outgoing registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Elijah Mohammed, made this known at the public presentation of his scorecard in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr Mohammed said the illegal premises were sealed due to various reasons including poor hygienic environment, poor documentation, and improper regularisation of papers.
“The illegal pharmaceutical premises that were closed down within the past eight years are over 25,000 across the nation.
“They were closed down due to various reasons including poor hygienic environment, poor documentation, improper regularisation of papers and improper behaviours in the shops and premises,” he said.
Mr Mohammed said before his appointment eight years ago, there were 17 pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences faculties in the country.
He said the figure has increased to 30, with more ready to kick-start in the next few months.
He said the PCN, charged with the responsibility to control and regulate the pharmacy education, training and practice, has been able to put in place a new programme; ‘Doctor of pharmacy’ which combines both clinical and non-clinical concepts of pharmacy practice.
“Before now, the practice was product focused, but now it is patient focused. What that means is that whether you are in production, sale, distribution, or dispensing of drugs, the patient is the focus and what impact it is going to have on our patient. And with that concern, everybody is sitting up now to ensure that whatever product is coming out, the patient is paramount.”
Mr Mohammed said the PCN encountered some challenges in these years, including human resources and infrastructure.
“We don’t have enough human resources and infrastructure, we lack adequate vehicles to go round to implement enforcement across the community,” he said.
The chairman of the governing board of PCN, Ahmed Mora, said the registrar excelled in his relationship with development partners.
Mr Mora said the capacity building programmes initiated by these partners have been wonderful.
He said; “Indeed, the development partners were to some extent deeply immersed in the implementation of the mandates of the registry.
“Today’s programme, which is with the full support of Society for Family Health (SFH) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is one of such commendable collaborations for which the council is very appreciative.”
In his remarks, the managing director of SFH, Omokhudu Idogho, said the partnership with PCN for over five years has worked to improve the contribution of private health sector providers – especially Community Pharmacists (CP) and Patent Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) in the nation healthcare delivery system.
Mr Idogho highlighted some key achievements of this partnership to include a GIS map of PPMVs and CPs in 11 implementing states, strengthened PCN’s capacity to effectively regulate CPs and PPMVs and digitalised some of its regulatory functions.
“Others include delivery of high impact training on family planning and PHC services to private sector providers, commencement of the Tiered Accreditation System, the Satellite Pharmacy Model and the PPMV Hub and Spoke Supervisory Model,” he said.