Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Taskforce on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods has shut 32 pharmacies and patent medicine stores over offences bordering on the illegal operation and operating beyond scope of practice.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this on Sunday, after reviewing the report of the first enforcement exercise carried out by the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit of the Ministry for the year 2020, said that the affected premises include: Those located in Dopemu, Mangoro, Cement, Oniwaya, Ayobo-Ipaja, OrileAgege, Akinogun, Mosan and Ikola axis of Agege and Alimosho Local Government areas of the state.
Abayomi noted that the sealing of the affected health facilities was in accordance with the provisions of Section C34 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods Miscellaneous Provision Act of 1999.
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The Commissioner explained further that they were sealed for offences including operations without a license, engaging unqualified persons to man and dispense drugs to unsuspecting citizens, operating beyond scope through the sale of ethical products, displaying and storing drugs in unconducive environments which compromises the potency of the drugs thereby rendering them ineffective.
He, however, stressed that only licensed patent medicine vendors are authorised to sell only drug products in their original packs in approved pack size as produced by the manufacturing companies as the law prohibits dispensing and wholesaling of drugs by patent medicine vendors as the law also prohibits wholesalers operating outside their scope by selling drugs in retail.
Abayomi assured that the present administration remained committed to putting a halt to the ugly trend of having unqualified personnel deal with drugs and would continue to insist that the environment for the dispensation of medical care should be suitable for the promotion and maintenance of good health.
Also, Director Pharmaceutical Services, of the ministry, Dr Moyosore Adejumo said that the state government will not relent in its efforts to stop the inherent dangers associated with the operations of unlicensed pharmaceutical outlets and drug shops.
“This closure is thus part of the government’s renewed efforts to sanitize the drug distribution system and curb proliferation of fake drugs in the State,” Adejumo said.