The Lagos State Taskforce on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods has shut 32 pharmacies and patent medicine stores for offences bordering on illegal operations and operating beyond the scope of practice.
The state Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this today after reviewing the report of the first enforcement exercise carried out by the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit of the Ministry for the Year 2020, said the affected stores are located in Dopemu, Mangoro, Cement, Oniwaya, Ayobo-Ipaja, OrileAgege, Akinogun, Mosan and Ikola axis of Agege and Alimosho Local Government areas of the State.
Abayomi noted that the sealing of the affected pharmacies and patent medicine stores was in accordance with the provisions of Section C34 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods Miscellaneous Provision Act of 1999.
The Commissioner explained further that the affected pharmacies and patent medicine shops were sealed for offences including operating without a license, engaging unqualified persons to man and dispense drugs to unsuspecting citizens, operating beyond scope through the sale of ethical products, displaying and storing drugs in unconducive environments which compromise the potency of the drugs, thereby rendering them ineffective.
He, however, stressed that only licensed patent medicine vendors are authorised to sell medication in their original packs or in approved pack size as produced by the manufacturing companies as the law prohibits dispensing and wholesaling of drugs by patent medicine vendors, just as the law also prohibits wholesalers from operating outside their scope by selling drugs in retail.
Assuring that the present administration remains committed to putting a halt to the ugly trend of having unqualified personnel deal with drugs, Prof. Abayomi maintained that the government will continue to insist that the environment for dispensation of medical care is suitable for the promotion of good health.
Speaking in the same vein, Director, Pharmaceutical Services, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Moyosore Adejumo said that the State Government will not relent in its efforts to stop the inherent dangers associated with the operations of unlicensed pharmaceutical outlets and drug shops.
Dr. Adejumo added that the Task Force of the Pharmaceutical Services Directorate has been re-energised to intensify the on-going war against fake, expired and substandard drugs being peddled by unlicensed and illegal premises.
“This closure is thus part of the government’s renewed efforts to sanitise the drug distribution system and curb proliferation of fake drugs in the State”, Adejumo said.
She explained that an investigative meeting would be held with owners of the sealed premises to make further inquiries on the status of their outlets and notify them of the procedures as well as appropriate conditions for reopening subject to fulfilment of government regulations and payment of administrative fees.
She, however, noted that the enforcement and compliance raid by the State Taskforce on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods was carried out in collaboration with the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Federal Taskforce on fake drugs and the Police Officers from Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Task Force) of the Lagos Police Command.