The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria has sealed 431 premises, comprising 45 pharmacies and 386 Patent Provision of Medicine Vendors in Imo State.
Briefing journalists on Saturday at Star Arrival Hotel Owerri, the PCN Director of Inspection and Monitoring, Mrs Anthonia Aruya, stated that 522 premises, comprising 103 pharmacies and 419 patent stores in the 27 council areas in the state were visited by the council.
She also disclosed that 13 premises were given compliance directives for various offences ranging from improper handling of controlled substances, unhygienic environment and poor documentation to dispensing ethical/prescription drugs without the presence of a pharmacist.
Aruya explained that field observations in the state revealed that many people went into sale of medicines without following due process, while others did not have the requisite knowledge to handle medicines in the stores.
She said, “It is also disheartening that some cannot communicate in English and they operate these illegal shops at will to the detriment of unsuspecting public.”
She advised the general public to source over-the-counter drugs from registered pharmacies, adding that drugs in unregistered outlets could not be guaranteed as genuine.
According to her, journalists, state Ministry of Health, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies have collaborated efficiently with the council.
The director further stated that some categories of stakeholders were allowed to sell medicines based on their approved scope of operation, adding that pharmacists were allowed to handle all categories of medicines while patent stores were to handle over-the-counter drugs with proven safety margin