Mr Henry Osuagwu, the President, Ariaria Patent Medicine Dealers Association (APAMDA), says plans to build a drug control facility will save lives and eliminate fraudulent practices in the business.
Osuagwu said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Aba, Abia on Tuesday.
He said that the Wholesale Coordinating Centre (CWC) for Abia medicine dealers would ensure controlled distribution and sale of drugs in Aba.
Osuagwu said that the plan was in line with the Federal Government’s desire to end the open market operation of medicine dealers, which had increased the sale of adulterated and fake drugs.
According to him, the facility, when completed, will assist in checking sharp practices in drug business in the commercial city.
“The Federal Government directed that medicine dealers should no longer stay in the open market to transact their business.
“When the dealers met with stakeholders comprising importers and the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria among others, they told us that they want us to change how drugs are sold in Nigeria.
“They asked us to go with them to India to see how drugs are sold in other countries, stressing that drugs are not sold in the open market.
“We went to India and they showed us how drugs are sold in that place. There, individuals manage it but government monitors how the drugs are bought and sold.
“So, when we returned, the Federal Government approved four states for the construction of drug marts. They states are Lagos, Kano, Anambra (Onitsha) and Abia (Aba).”
Osuagwu warned that dealers who refused to enlist in the plan by obtaining their form now, would regret their actions soon.
He said that the association had bought a land along Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway for the project.
He said that the next stage was securing the approval of the Minister of Health for the commencement of the construction of the facility.
According to him, the Minister of Health will visit Abia in September to finalise arrangements for the commencement of the facility.
Meanwhile, the president said that the association had asked for the extension of the time given to the members move from Ariaria, following the expiration of the July deadline.