Open Drug Market

PCN: Open Drug Markets threat to Public Health

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, (PCN) has said that open drug markets constitute a threat to public health, adding that a large percentage of products within these markets are not fit for human consumption due to poor handling.

Consequently, the council has intensified moves to ensure that all medicine dealers in open drug markets in the country are relocated to Coordinated Wholesale Centres (CWCs) in line with the National Drug Distribution Guidelines.

Meanwhile, the council has sealed about 358 pharmacies and patent medicine shops within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for either operating without registration with PCN or failure to renew premises license.

Registrar, PCN, Ibrahim Ahmed, who disclosed this in Abuja noted that the activities of medicine dealers in the open drug markets are unregulated and the activities within the markets are totally in breach of regulations, adding that PCN is currently partnering with the Government of states where these markets are located and all relevant stakeholders to ensure that they are relocated to Coordinated Wholesale Centres.


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Ahmed observed that the PCN efforts to relocate medicine dealers in the popular head Bridge drug market Onitsha, Anambra stated has started yielding results following the ground breaking ceremony performed by the state Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, at the approved site of the new CWC in Oba where medicine dealers in the head bridge market Onitsha will be relocated to.

He commended the Anambra state governor for demonstrating the political will to actualise the relocation of the Onitsha drug market stressing that PCN will render all technical and regulatory assistance to ensure that the project is completed within the stipulated two years projected by the developers.

According to the registrar, 90 pharmacies and 268 patent medicine shops were sealed out of a total of 584 premises visited during the enforcement exercise in the FCT from Monday to Thursday.

Ahmed explained that some of the sealed premises were dispensing ethical products without the supervision of a pharmacist, and some were in poor sanitary conditions.

He further warned that a large percentage of open drug markets are not fit for human consumption due to poor handling and constitute a threat to public health.

Ahmed said the Abuja Zonal Office of the PCN has been directed to give necessary guidance to all those wishing to engage in the pharmaceutical business within the FCT.