Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) has expressed worry over the continued prevalence of fake and counterfeit drugs and other unwholesome pharmaceutical products in Nigeria.
ACPN National Chairman Dr. Albert Kelong, said that government should support Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the law enforcement agencies to implement the closure of open drug markets as planned by June 2017 and also sanitize the drug distribution system to ensure that quacks do not handle potent molecules.
Kelong noted this at a press briefing organized by ACPN in Lagos, adding there is need for sensitizing the public and other healthcare practitioners on the pharmacy neon sign as a mark of the location for quality pharmaceutical services and where the services of a registered pharmacist can be accessed. “We will soon be raiding and removing illegal neon signs.”
Kelong also stated that there is need for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to be functional and to work with the various states health insurance scheme to guarantee effective service delivery to enroll by all healthcare providers. “Community pharmacies as obtained all over the world are centres were people refill NHIS prescriptions, Nigeria should not be an exception.”
He said in view with the current outbreak of meningitis in some states of the federation, ACPN is urging the Federal Ministry of Health to expand the vaccination points to include community pharmacies and make adequate provisions for vaccines in all heath centres across the nation. “We also urge government to be more proactive next time to avoid outbreak.”
He said: “ACPN expresses serious concern on the increase rate of drug abuse and misuse in our society especially among our youths. To prevent the health and security implications of this anomaly concerted efforts must be by all stakeholders including community pharmacists, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), healthcare providers, security agencies and the general public to protect our citizens’ wellbeing and enhance economic growth.”
Kelong noted that ACPN Annual National Conference tagged “Jos City 2017, Community Pharmacists role in national building, past, present and future” will hold in Jos Plateau State from 2nd to 7th July 2017.
“Community pharmacists are fully involved in ensuring the eradication of malaria therefore ACPN is calling on the government to do more in closing the gaps in lifesaving malaria prevention tools especially long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets,” he said.