The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) on Wednesday threatened to close down all unlicenced pharmacies by March ending if they failed to regularise their operations.
Mr Elijah Mohammed, the Council’s Registrar, made this known in an interview in Abuja.
He said that this was in a bid to tackle the activities of some unscrupulous people in the country which had led to the untimely death and maiming of innocent Nigerians.
Mohammed advised the pharmacists in the country against losing sight of the essence of the practice, which he said was the zeal to lessen the burden of the sick and not financial gains.
According to him, enhancing pharmacists practice in the industry required that the pharmacists uphold the professional ethics and observed due diligence and compliance with best practices.
“We are giving everyone concerned in the handling of drugs between now and March ending to fall in line, regularise your premises and ensure that what you are doing is according to the law.
“Because the council in conjunction with other security agencies are coming out more forceful this year to ensure that citizens get the desired pharmaceutical care.
“Therefore, it is not going to be business as usual.
“Our expectation is that every player of the pharmaceutical landscape and health players in this country must respect the ethics and laws of pharmacy practice to ensure that Nigerians get the best service they deserve,’’ the registrar said.
Mohammed further explained that those with DNA are the genuine professionals that are interested in saving the lives of Nigerians.
“It is sad to note that people that are not supposed to handle drugs continuously do that and tend to look at drugs as every other general merchandise that could be sold anyhow, anywhere and to any person, which is not ideal.
“Drug is not like any other commodity, drugs are specialised products, it is not what everybody needs to take, most especially the prescription drugs.
“We are calling on all Nigerians to key into the change begins with me mantra of the Federal Government.
“We should all have a change of mind set that respect ethics and laws of pharmacy practice in this country and everyone must key into this so that life will be more meaningful for us all.
“Everybody involved must be licenced because you find out that professionals operating in most of our health facilities are not licenced and updated in their training.
“Most of them are no longer involved in the continued education programme that tends to bring them in tandem with realities in the practice.
“All this will no longer be tolerated,’’ Mohammed warned.