No fewer than 21 Pharmacies, Patent Medicine shops, and unlicensed premises at Alakuko, Ajegunle, Ologogoro, Ijaiye, Abule-Egba, Agbado, and Agege in Alimosho, Ifako-Ijaiye, and Agege Local Government areas of Lagos were shut by the Lagos State Taskforce on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods for offences bordering on illegal operation and operating beyond scope of practice.
Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi who disclosed this in a statement reviewing the report of the enforcement exercise carried out by the Task Force stated 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.
Professor Abayomi explained that the affected premises were sealed for offences including; operating without 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 compromises the potency of the drugs thereby rendering them ineffective amongst others.
He noted that such practices are unacceptable and vowed that the State Government will do whatever is necessary to enforce the law and sanction erring operators.
The Commissioner however stressed that only licensed patent medicine vendors are authorized to sell only drug products in their original packs in approved pack size as produced by the manufacturing companies noting that the law prohibits dispensing and wholesaling of drugs by patent medicine vendors and also prohibits wholesalers operating outside their scope by selling drugs in retail.
The commissioner also noted that the State Government remains committed to putting a halt to the ugly trend of having unqualified personnel deal with pharmaceutical products adding that government will continue to insist that the environment for the dispensation of medical care should be suitable for the promotion and maintenance of good health.
The Acting Director Pharmaceutical Services, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Mrs. Backley Mosunmola Olufunmilola also says the State Government will not relent in its efforts to stop the inherent dangers associated with the operations from unlicensed pharmaceutical outlets and drug shops.
She added that the Task Force through the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit (PIU) of the Pharmaceutical Services Directorate has been re-energized to intensify the on-going war against fake, expired and substandard drugs being peddled by unlicensed and illegal premises.
She explained that an investigative meeting would be held with owners of the sealed premises to make further inquiries on the status of the sealed premises and to notify them of the procedures and appropriate conditions to be met for reopening in line with government regulations and payment of an administrative fee.
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 Lagos Police Command.