ACPN Urges FG To Integrate Pharmacy Schools In Fight Against Substandard Medicines

The Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) has called on the federal government to integrate the 21 schools of pharmacy in the country in the fight against substandard and falsified medicines.

The national chairman of the association, pharmacist Adewale Oladigbolu, made the call during the international conference on the quality of medicines and healthcare services organised by the association in collaboration with the Clean Healthcare Initiative (CCHI) in Abuja.

He said, “There are at least 21 schools of pharmacy in Nigeria. If all these schools are empowered to analyze drugs, it means that at any point in time, students can go and collect samples of drugs, do analysis and if they find it to be substandard or falsified,  escalate it to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) which has the authority to make pronouncements of them.

“This will make suppliers of such medicines to be more careful and do what is right.”

He said there was a need for resources to track substandard and falsified medicines in the country, adding that the resources should not be domiciled in NAFDAC  alone.

Quoting World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, he said one out of  10 medicines consumed in Nigeria was substandard.

Oladigbolu said there is also a need to ensure the proper distribution of medicines in Nigeria, adding that the chaotic distribution through open drug markets is driving substandard medicines and increasing the cost of drugs.

He added that strengthening the country’s health system would encourage people to come from other parts of the world to seek care in Nigeria.

The chairman, planning committee of the conference, pharmacist Chigozie Ezegwu, called on the government to give all requisite support to the relevant agencies, and the court judgement directing the relocation from open drug markets to coordinated wholesale centres.

He said drugs were sensitive commodities that should not be handled by non-professionals.

The secretary, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter, Pharmacist Godwin Okoh, said in order to address the ‘japa’ syndrome among community pharmacists, it is important to make the country green through the quality of medicines and achievement of the good distribution system.


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