HealthHighlight

PCN descends on unlicensed medicine outlets, shuts 531 in Abuja

PCN is a Federal Government agency responsible for overseeing and regulating all aspects of pharmacy education, training, and practice, as mandated by the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria Establishment Act of 2022.

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The Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) has closed down 531 medicine outlets in Abuja, the nation’s capital city, for various infractions.

According to PCN, the violations include unregistered operations, inadequate record-keeping, and dispensing prescription drugs without the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.

The Director of Enforcement, Mr. Stephen Esumobi, disclosed this to reporters in Abuja on Friday.

PCN is a Federal Government agency responsible for overseeing and regulating all aspects of pharmacy education, training, and practice, as mandated by the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria Establishment Act of 2022.

Esumobi said: “The council’s National Enforcement team carried out a week-long enforcement exercise in the FCT, visiting 908 premises, including pharmacies, patent medicine shops, and illegal medicine outlets.

“The team sealed 531 premises, including 90 pharmacies, 144 patent medicine shops, and 297 illegal medicine shops.”

He stated that the council is looking into technological solutions to improve patients’ access to medications, making it easier and more convenient for them to obtain the drugs they need.

He said: “PCN is developing software for people to source their drugs anywhere they are.”

Esumobi also emphasized the significance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare, acknowledging its limitations, particularly in situations where human interaction and verbal communication are essential.

He urged the public to report any suspected unlicensed pharmacies or unqualified practitioners in their areas, encouraging them to utilize the PCN website as a platform to submit their complaints.

To effectively regulate and control pharmacy practices in Nigeria, the PCN has established a decentralized structure comprising state and zonal offices, as well as specialised committees for pharmaceutical inspections and licensing of patent and proprietary medicine vendors.

Additionally, the council has implemented training programmes for patent medicine shop owners in the FCT, focusing on orientation and continuous education to ensure their compliance with legal requirements and standards.

The PCN’s enforcement action aims to guarantee access to safe, effective, and high-quality medications at every level of Nigeria’s healthcare system by ensuring the distribution and dispense of medicines in a controlled and rational manner.

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