Lagos State Task Force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs, and Unwholesome Processed Foods has shut 20 pharmacies and patent medicine stores in Shomolu, Bariga, and Oworonshoki.
Akin Abayomi, the commissioner for health, who disclosed this on Wednesday, August 12, 2021, after reviewing the report of the recent monitoring, inspection, and enforcement exercises carried out by the task force, said the affected pharmacies and patent medicine stores were shut for contravening the regulations guiding the operations of pharmacies and patent medicine stores, including indulging in illegal practices and failing to comply with regulatory standard.
He said: “The sealing off of the affected pharmacies and patent medicine stores was in accordance with Section C34 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods Miscellaneous Provision Act of 1999.”
Abayomi said the pharmacies and patent medicine shops were shut for offences including inappropriate storage conditions of drugs, absence of licensed pharmacists during business hours, selling of drugs not on the approved list, and the display of expired drugs.
Noting that only licensed patent medicine vendors are authorised to sell drugs in their original and approved pack size as produced by the manufacturing companies, he said 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 task force is in continuation of the war being waged against fake drugs and illegal drug shops in Lagos by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.
Abayomi said the activities of the Task Force on Fake Drugs will not only be sustained, but will also be intensified until stakeholders in the pharmaceutical value chain appreciate the need to adhere to the provisions of the law.
Oyebisi Omolambe, the director Pharmaceutical Services in the ministry, said the government would not relent in its efforts to stop the dangers associated with 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-energised 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 sanitise the drug distribution system and curb proliferation of fake drugs in the state,” Omolambe said.
The enforcement and compliance raid by the Task Force 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 Task Force on fake drugs and police officers from the Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Task Force) of Lagos Police Command.
Source: The Nation