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Monday 2 November 2015

Lagos seals 33 illegal pharmacies, patent stores

Lagos seals 33 illegal pharmacies, patent stores

Dr Olufemi Onanuga

The Lagos State Task Force on Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods has shut no fewer than 33 illegal pharmacies and patent medicine shops and carted away fake drugs worth millions of naira in Ojo area of Lagos State in a renewed effort to sanitize the drug distribution system and rid the state of the menace of fake and counterfeit drugs.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Health Care, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga who disclosed this today while reviewing the report of the recent raid in Lagos, explained that the exercise is coming on the heels of the war being waged against fake and expired drugs as well as operators of illegal Pharmacies by the State Government.

Onanuga explained that the 33 outlets were sealed off for various offences contrary to the provisions of the law on the operation of Pharmacies and Patent Medicine stores in Lagos, adding that, the task force has a renewed mandate to comb every nook and cranny of the state to and fish out illegal patent medicine shops and pharmacy operators.

“The closure is part of the government’s efforts at ridding the state of fake, substandard and illegal drugs’ operators and outlets as well as ensuring high drug quality through sanitation and streamlining of drug distribution system in the state,” he said.

The Special Adviser noted that the sealing of fake pharmaceutical premises was in accordance with the provision of Chapter C34 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provision) Act of 1999, Number 25.

Onanuga added that the raid was necessitated by the persistent defiance of government’s stipulated regulations on drug production, importation, manufacture, sales or display for sales, hawking, distribution, adulteration, and possession of drugs by illegal operators.

According to him, the shops were sealed off for offences ranging from sales of drugs without license from the regulatory authority; to failure or refusal to relocate from a market area and adherence to the mandated distance between a patent medicine shop and market place as stipulated by the law; and sales of counterfeit and fake drugs amongst others.

Onanuga listed some of the affected Patent Medicine Stores and unregistered premises as including; Aston H. Pharmacy located at 17, Baale Street, Igbo-Elerin Road; Clint Kim & Moore Mart Pharmacy at 38a, Igbo Elerin Road; Bonalink Pharmacy at KM 4, LASU-Isheri Expressway; UNC Choice Supermarket at 40, Great Challenge Road, Iyana Iba; Ocean of Life Pharmacy & Stores at 6, Adaloko Road, Abule-Era, Ojo; and Dounthing Pharmacy at Unity Estate, Iba Ojo.

Others according to him are; De Franco Pharm at 40, Oba Goriola Road, Iba New Site; Fitzking Link Pharmacy at 18, Aratumi Road, Iba New Town; Holy Trinity Pharmacy & Stores Ltd. at 12/19, Abule Adaloko Road, Abule Era, Ojo; Augustine Iheneche Pharmacy at 3, Seriki Street, Okokomaiko; Save Soul Pharmacy at Afromedia Bale Street, Okokomaiko; and Concilia Nkiruka Drug Store at 13, Baale Road, Afromedia Ajangbadi.

The Special Adviser who expressed concern over the danger posed by the nefarious activities of illegal operators of patent medicine and pharmaceutical stores in the state added that it was particularly disheartening that despite the provisions of the law which outlines requirements for registration and renewal of pharmaceutical premises, people still chose to stay on the wrong side of the law.

He urged operators of pharmacies and patent medicine stores to ensure that their activities are within the ambit of the law just as he reiterated government’s avowed commitment to stream lining the drug distribution system in the state in order to ensure the safety of the citizenry.

“It is important that operators of pharmacies and patent medicine stores operate within the ambit of the law regulating their operations as the state government would not take it lightly with any operators of pharmaceutical products who disregard the laws of the State”, Onanuga said.

The Task Force’s raid was conducted in conjunction with the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) officials, representatives of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health and officers of the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad.

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