95 per cent of registered patent medicine stores in Lagos State are operated illegally by charlatans who commit sundry medical malpractices. These charlatans who are not qualified to practice commit offences such as displaying and selling of
expired drugs to the public. They also use the premises of their patent stores to engage in illegal clinical practices such as admission of patients and setting of intravenous infusion on patients’ “This is unacceptable,” declared Dr. Femi Onanuga, Special Adviser to the governor on Primary Healthcare after the arrest of the culprits and sealing of their premises. “We as a government will do the needful in terms of enforcing the law and sanctioning erring operators.”
Onanuga explained that the sealing of the patent medicine stores have the backing of the provisions of chapter 134 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provision Act of 1999 No. 25. He said: licensed patent medicine vendors are authorized to sell only drug products in their original parks in approved park sizes as produced by the manufacturing companies. The law prohibits dispensing and wholesaling of drugs by patent medicine vendors.” Lagos State government’s Task Force on Fake Drugs shut down 27 unregistered pharmacies and patent medicine stores in various parts of the state during the raid recently.
The task force worked in collaboration with federal agencies such as National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and the state’s Rapid Response Squad (RRS) to effect the inspection and clampdown. The special adviser disclosed that 27 out of the 31 outlets visited were sealed for various offences like engagement of quacks to man community pharmacies, operating beyond scope by licensed patent medicine shops, “sale of ethical products and dispensing drugs to unsuspecting citizens.”
Other offences include illegal operation of unregistered premises, displaying and storing drugs in environments that are not conducive which “compromise the potency and integrity of the drug products rendering them ineffective.”To safeguard the health of people living in Lagos, the special adviser assured that the crackdown will be sustained and intensified until operators adhere to the provisions of the law.