-Over non remittance of money to manufacturers
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–ABUJA–THE Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria,PCN,has begun trial of three pharmacists accused of falling short of the conduct and ethics of the pharmacy profession.
The trio,said to be pharmaceutical representatives of drugs manufacturing companies allegedly failed to remit various large amounts of money realised from drugs released to them for sale.
A disciplinary committee of PCN arraigned the accused shortly after inauguration on Friday evening at the council’s headquarters in Abuja.
Speaking to journalists following the development,the Chairman of Governing Council of Pharmacists Council of Nigeria,Prof. Ahmed Mora,warned pharmacists in Nigeria against unwholesome practices, reiterating that anyone caught wanting would not be spared from facing the long arm of the law,no matter his position in the society.
Mora,who did not provide the names of the accused, explained that the tribunal was not a criminal one but bothers on professional misconduct. He said the consequences of the offence can be delisting of offenders from pharmaceutical business.
“A tribunal has been inaugurated and has started hearing. I assure you that before the end of the year,we are going to sit again to make a pronouncement on the sentence on one case and continue with the trial of others.
“We do not expect pharmacists to fall short of code of conduct and ethics of the profession,”he said.
According to him,the cases being handled by the tribunal were “those of fraud, of some pharmacists not remitting amounts of drugs given to them to sell or to market in large amounts after periodic requests by those who own those premises ( pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesalers).
” These premises have what we call pharmaceutical representatives or medical representatives. Usually,they are given large consignment of pharmaceutical products to market.
” So,in all these cases,it appeared that these drugs have been sold but they have not remitted the money to the manufacturers or the wholesalers, prompting petitions to PCN,”he explained.
Mora,who also explained that the tribunal was unable to sit for six years, explained further that the action was not deliberate.
“The inability of the tribunal to sit for six years was not deliberate,it was because there was no governing council in place.
“Now with the governing council in place,we now have the disciplinary committee of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria and there is no limitations on the number of times that it sits. It depends on the cases referred to it from the investigative panel.
“So, we want to make it abundantly clear to all the pharmacists in Nigeria, that the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria is not a toothless bull dog,that pharmacists that are falling short of the conduct or the code of ethics of the profession would certainly be sanctioned.
” We have started it today,and we will not stop there, because what we do is to ensure that the citizens get nothing but the best of professional practice and professional services of the pharmacists either in the manufacturing, wholesaling or community pharmacists,”he warned.
Also speaking, Registrar of PCN, Elijah Mohammed,who said so far,22 universities in the country were running Pharmacy courses,added that in mid-2022, about eight others would be açcredited to run Pharmacy courses, bringing the total number to 30.
Mohammed said:”As at today,we have 22 universities offering Pharmacy courses and we have about eight others pending, waiting to be açcredited by the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria. I believe that by mid-2022,we should be having about 30 universities offering Pharmacy courses. That would boost the number of pharmacists we are producing,thereby increasing the number of pharmacists rendering pharmaceutical services in Nigeria,”he said.
According to him,”Pharmacists being produced in Nigeria are of world’s standard and they can compete favourably anywhere in in globe.”