7th June, 2010
The Lagos State Task Force on Counterfeit, Fake drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods has shut 20 illegal pharmaceutical outlets and destroyed drugs worth N50 million in Lagos, Nigeria.
The raid on illegal pharmaceutical outlets was carried out at Agboyi-Ketu and Onigbongbo Local Council Development Areas of the state at the weekend.
Some of those shut are: Edichart Pharmacy and Stores, Herbinco Pharmacy and Stores, Annexco Pharmacy and Stores, Neatline Pharmacy, Chikey Pharmacy, Chidozie Pharmacy and Variety Stores and Uzzy Pharmacy.
Others are Obitex Divine Pharmacy Limited, Divine Pharmacy, Beneze Pharmacy and Stores Ltd, Viewland Pharmacy and Mimimart, Devine Chemist Ltd, AmexcoPharm Chemist Limited Tolex Pharmacy.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris said the closure was part of the governmentâ€™s efforts at ridding the state of fake, substandard and illegal drugsâ€™ operators and outlets as well as ensuring high drug quality through sanitation and streamlining of drug distribution system in the state.
He said that the sealing of fake pharmaceutical premises and destruction of their drug was in accordance with the provision of Chapter C34 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provision) Act of 1999, number 25.
â€œThe raids by the men of the state task force on counterfeit, fake drugs and unwholesome processed foods were necessitated by the persistent defiance of governmentâ€™s stipulated regulation on drug production, importation, manufacture, sale or display for sales, hawking, distribution, adulteration, and possession of drugs by illegal operators,â€ he stated.
Idris expressed worry about the danger posed by the nefarious activities of illegal operators of patent and proprietary medicine and pharmaceutical stores in the state.
He said it was disheartening that despite the provisions of the law as stipulated by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Act of 1992 and the Registration of Pharmaceutical Premises Regulation law of 2005 which outlines requirements for registration and renewal of pharmaceutical premises, culpability and punishment of offenders, people still chose to stay on the wrong side of the law.
The commissioner added that the 20 illegal pharmaceutical premises were sealed for offences ranging from sale of drugs without license from appropriate regulatory authorities; failure or refusal to relocate from a market area; failure to adhere to the mandated distance between a pharmacy and a patent medicine shop; locating of two pharmacies very close to each other without maintaining the regulated distance from market place as stipulated by law; and sale of counterfeit and fake drugs among other offences.
Idris said that some other premises that were sealed off were licensed outlets but were practicing beyond their scope of registered operation, hence he urged operators of pharmaceutical shops and patent medicine stores to ensure that their activities were within the ambit of the law regulating their operations.
According to him, the government would not take it lightly with any operator of pharmaceutical products who disregards the law.
â€œI urge all residents of the state to always purchase their drugs from a duly registered pharmacy or patent medicine store which can be identified by a signboard indicating that such pharmacy or patent medicine shop is duly registered and licensed,â€ Idris stated.