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Kano: NAFDAC, PCN seal 1,321 medicine stores for operating illegally

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in collaboration with the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN), in their efforts to sanitise the drug distribution system in the country, have sealed no fewer than 1,321 medicine stores in Kano State.

Making this known on Monday in Kano, the NAFDAC Director of Investigation and Enforcement, Mr Francis Ononiwu, while addressing the press, disclosed that “we sealed 1,321 medicine stores in Sabon Gari Market, Mallam Kato Square, and Niger Street between February 17 and 18.

According to him, the enforcement action was to ensure medical dealers relocate to the Coordinated Wholesale Centre (CWC) in Dangwauro, along Zaria Road Kano, where their business would be perfectly monitored against fake and substandard drugs.

Some of these medicine stores smuggled narcotics products and banned products such as analgin injections and tramadol illegally.

He further disclosed that “this is in line with our regulatory function of enforcement and ensuring that only quality drugs are in circulation.”

Mr Ononiwu added that there is a need to sanitize the drug distribution system in the country, noting that if drugs are not kept in cooling premises, they degrade into poisonous substances.

He noted that “most of the medicine premises visited were operating in an unventilated environment. Some drugs need to be stored in a refrigerator, especially life-saving drugs, for quality output.”

He, however, appealed to medicine dealers to see their relocation as vital for public health and as part of an effort to continue to fight against substandard drugs.

While speaking in the same vein, the Director of Enforcement, Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, Mr Stephen Esumobi, disclosed that the medicine dealers were operating illegally.

Mr Esumobi further disclosed that “Most of the drugs we found have a narrow margin of safety to health because the drugs are toxic and therapeutic doses are narrow.”

He then added that the health of society needed to be safeguarded, hence the need for these medicine dealers to work in a regulated environment where conducive environments have been provided for them.

The agency is doing this to prevent not only quack medicine dealers but also to ensure those in the business do business in accordance with rules and regulations.

 

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