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NIGERIA COAT OF ARM

Fake drugs: FCTA Taskforce raids pharmacies, patent stores in AMAC

By Salisu Sani-Idris

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Tuesday reiterated commitment to ensure that pharmaceutical and patent stores in the Satellite Towns comply with laid down operational standards.

Mr Aje Oga, the Head of Pharmaceutical Inspectorate, FCTA Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS), who led the raid on some parts of the city, said it was part of the efforts to protect residents from consuming counterfeit and fake drugs.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that the taskforce went round patent and pharmaceutical stores, where officials looked at the storage conditions of drugs and removed drugs that were not registered and approved by NAFDAC.

The taskforce, who were accompanied by Policemen stormed and sealed Chikamsi Pharmacy and Stores, e-Health Pharmacy and Stores, both at White House Plaza, near Karu Market, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).

The taskforce issued compliance directive and confiscated drugs that were not registered and approved by NAFDAC.

Similarly, the team inspected Palax medicine store, Odera Pharmacy, Helium Medical Services, Steps Pharmacy, all located along Nyanya-Jikwoyi road, Karu.

Oga stated that the operation was to ensure that the condition under which drugs are kept and sold are hygienic and conducive.

“We have a NAFDAC official as a member of the taskforce to ensure that they go through the drugs on the counters in every pharmacy or patent medicine shop.

“So far, in all the shops we have visited, less than one per cent don’t have problem. It is not always punitive but corrective measures that are taken to ensure compliance.

“We told them the right things to do, and they complied. While most of the places we went to, the Pharmacists were not on ground, and a compliance directive was issued, as they are supposed to render services to the community.

“And if your premise is sealed, you will ensure that you meet all the laid down conditions for operating such businesses, then we go and unseal the premises,” he said.

Oga advised residents to patronise only registered pharmacy stores and healthcare facilities spread across the area councils for primary healthcare services.

“People need to shun patronising patent medicine dealers, except when they cannot do otherwise,” he stressed.

Similarly, Director in charge of Abuja Zone of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Peter Iliya, noted that the risk of having non-complying drugs outlets, was that one may not be sure of the quality of products and services available to people.

Iliya, a statutory member of the taskforce, opined that the compliance level in FCT is not optimal, saying that there is room for improvement.

“And for those who are complying, we commend them, and we encourage them to continue to keep complying as excellence is supposed to be the ultimate goal of any professional practice.

“But for those, who don’t comply, they should be warned that the arms of the law will catch up with them.

”The wheel of justice may be slow, but surely, and steadfastly, it will grind to its final destination with devastating consequences for those who are doing the wrong thing.” (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)