Shut Idumota Drug Market Now

Shut Idumota Drug Market Now

Postby Richard Akindele » Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:00 am

Pharmacists under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (Lagos State Branch) have called for immediate closure of the drug section of the Idumota market to allow the Lagos State Task Force and Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) restore sanity in pharmaceutical operations in the area.

They are also seeking that the seven-day relocation notice put on some markets by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in selected areas of Lagos, be made applicable to all the 15 prominent drug markets across the Federation.

In a related development, the body of pharmacists has raised alarm about moves by illegal drug dealers operating in Idumota to unlawfully unseal some of the unregistered premises recently shut by NAFDAC.

Making the call for closure of the market in a signed statement released weekend, the pharmacists noted that from investigations, traders dealing in surgical equipment or those spared from the closure were beginning to connive with the quacks to reopen for business as usual.

In the reaction, Chairman of the branch, Pharm. Bola Oyawole, recalled that efforts by the Task Force to shut about 250 unregistered premises as well by the closure of an estimated 300 illegal premises in various parts of the metropolis by the PCN would not be complete if the Idumota drug market remained open.

"These efforts which, must be sustained are clearly in public interest to guarantee that efficacious and safe drugs are available to the citizenry at all times, " he noted.

Further, Oyawole said the PSN (Lagos State Branch) finds it necessary to comment on the recent policy shift by NAFDAC, which has now come to the realisation that drug markets are not safe places to buy drug products. According to him, the position, which the PSN had canvassed for almost three decades, took the new NAFDAC management five whole years to appraise. "Despite this, we at the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria appreciate the position of NAFDAC that pharmaceutical companies should no longer patronise the obnoxious Onitsha drug market.

"We submit with a sense of responsibility that if the DG of NAFDAC personally declates drugs from Onitsha drug market unsafe for human consumption, then logically, it should have been the first place where operators are given a relocation notice in public interest."

Oyawole added that NAFDAC pronouncement should go a step further to implement maximum sanctions on companies which continue to sell to unregistered premises, because the Lagos State Task Force revealed that so many of the prominent pharmaceutical manufacturers and importers continue to dump their products at ldumota.

Vanguard.
Richard Akindele
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