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20 Lagos pharmacies, others under lock for contravening regulations

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

As part of the efforts to protect Nigerians particularly Lagosians from using harmful products, the State’s Taskforce on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs, and Unwholesome Processed Foods has shut no fewer than 20 pharmacies and patent medicine stores across the state.

The pharmacies and patent medicine stores were identified to have contravene the state regulation and were sealed by the enforcement team in Shomolu, Bariga, and Oworonshoki axis of the state.

Speaking after the outlets were shuts, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, explained that the affected pharmacies and patent medicine stores were shut for contravening regulations guiding the operations of pharmacies and patent medicine stores, including indulging in illegal practices and failing to comply with regulatory standard.

Abayomi, who disclosed this on Thursday, after reviewing the report of the recent monitoring, inspection, and enforcement exercises carried out by the Taskforce, stated that the action was in accordance with the provisions of Section C34 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods Miscellaneous Provision Act of 1999.

Abayomi added that the affected pharmacies and patent medicine shops were sealed for offenses including inappropriate storage conditions of drugs, absence of licensed pharmacists during business hours, selling of drugs, that were not on the approved list, and the display of expired drugs for sale.

While noting that only licensed patent medicine vendors are authorized to sell drug products in their original and approved pack size as produced by the manufacturing companies, he stated that the law prohibits wholesaling of drugs by patent medicine vendors and also prohibits wholesalers from operating beyond their scope.

According to the Commissioner, the recent operation by the Taskforce is in continuation of the war being waged against fake drugs and illegal drug shops in Lagos by the Governor Babajide led administration.

Abayomi promised that the activities of the State Task Force on Fake Drugs would not only be sustained but intensified until stakeholders in the pharmaceutical value chain appreciate the need to adhere strictly to the provisions of the law.

Speaking in the same vein, Director Pharmaceutical Services in the Ministry, Oyebisi Omolambe, said that 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.

Omolambe added that the Task Force through the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit (PIU) of the Pharmaceutical Services Directorate has been re-energized to intensify the ongoing war against fake, expired and substandard drugs being peddled by unlicensed and illegal premises.

“This closure is thus part of the government’s renewed efforts to sanitize the drug distribution system and curb proliferation of fake drugs in the state”, she added.

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 Comma

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