The Pharmacists Registration Council of Nigeria ( PRCN) has sealed off 260 patent medicine stores and 27 pharmacies operating illegally in different parts of Kogi State.
The Head of Enforcement Department of the council, Mr Stephen Esumobi, who announced this at a press conference in Lokoja on Friday, said the medicine stores and pharmacies were sealed between Oct.16 and Oct. 19.
He said that they were among the 373 pharmacies and patent medicine stores visited by men of the enforcement department headed by him during the week.
Esumobi said that the sealed medicine stores and pharmacies had been operating without registration and also failed to register their premises as required by law.
According to him, many of them were also discovered to be dispensing ethical products without the supervision of qualified pharmacists, with poor storage and sanitary conditions.
“ The council cannot guarantee that drugs sold in unregistered outlets are of the same integrity as specified by the manufacturers since they have not submitted to regulation that ensures maintenance of appropriate standards for handling such products,” he said.
Esumobi said that inspectors would be deployed from the the council to the state for supervised evacuation of drugs from the sealed premises.
He said that the action of the council was not punitive, but an effort to safeguard public health.
According to him, any of the sealed premises that eventually complies with the provisions of the law will be let off the hook.
“Members of the public are advised to purchase their medicines from licensed pharmacies and simple household remedies from licensed patent medicine and propriety medicine shops,” he said.
Esumobi advised those intending to start pharmaceutical businesses should register with the council.