As part of activities to mark the World Pharmacists Day (WPD), pharmacists under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Lagos Chapter, have recommended how Nigeria can achieve safe and effective medicines for all.
Chairman, Lagos State PSN, Bola Adeniran, told journalists, yesterday, in order to achieve the goals and objectives of safe and effective medicines for all, the society strongly recommends the enforcement of the spirit of National Drug Distribution Guideline (NDDG) with particular emphasis on strategies to attain closure of drug markets and achieve the movement to Coordinated Wholesale Centres (CWC) now approved in seven city centres in Nigeria.
Adeniran called for a sustainable reform in the business of Patent Medicine Vending (PMV) by paying particular attention to the strict applicability of statutes in the enforcement window presently available in the pharmaceutical sector.
She urged the National Assembly and the Presidency to ensuring the passage of Pharmacy Bill 2017 into an Act of Parliament that will rescue pharmacy practice, which continues to sink albeit rapidly with the probability of complete extinction in Nigeria if the negative drift is not curbed soon enough.
The pharmacist said the appropriate regulatory agencies notably the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) must singularly and collectively deal decisively with the increasing propensities of unscrupulous persons to unethically launch Nigeria into Internet Pharmacy when there is no existing form of regulatory control to guide this endeavour.
Adeniran said for reasons of public safety in a clime where both poverty and ignorance are in abundance, government at all levels must stand up to these new species of violation of Pharmacy Laws to forestall more episodes of morbidity, mortality, trade malpractices and other levels of criminality.
She said President Buhari is especially encouraged to evaluate the motive of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), which, in conjunction with the immediate past leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) has been championing an agenda of privatisation/concessioning of pharmacy and laboratory, radiography, physiotherapy and related facilities in Federal Health Institutions (FHIs).
The pharmacist said the Federal Government is once again advised to assess the benefit/risk ratio of this policy especially against the background of poor result turned in facilities like Garki Hospital, Abuja which was concessioned to private profiteers but has not improved in efficiency or competencies since the tragic concessioning exercise some years ago. For the records, she said, services at Garki Hospital, Abuja are no longer affordable or available to the common man, implying that safe and effective medicines for all cannot be attained in such facilities.
Adeniran said, as a matter of fact, this completely jeopardises the National Drug Policy 2005 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
She said: “The pivotal roles pharmacists play in healthcare delivery from research to caregiving can never be overemphasized. Pharmacists are the choking cord of healthcare anywhere in the world. In every community, pharmacists have positioned themselves to serve you and help you improve the quality of your health.
“World Pharmacists Day, September 25 highlights the value of the pharmacy profession and impact on improving health to authorities, other professions and the media, as well as to the general public.”
The theme of this year’s WPD, held on September 25, is “Safe and effective medicines for all,” according to the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). The theme aims to highlight the key role that pharmacists play in protecting patient safety through improved medication use and reduced medication errors.
“Pharmacists use their broad knowledge and unique expertise to ensure that people get the best from their medicines,” said FIP President Dominique Jordan. “We ensure access to medicines and their appropriate use, improve adherence, coordinate care transitions, and so much more. Today, more than ever, pharmacists are charged with the responsibility to ensure that when a patient uses a medicine, it will not cause harm.”