Worried by the danger posed by the activities of illegal operators of patent medicine and pharmaceutical stores in Lagos, the state government through its Taskforce on Fake, Counterfeit and Unwholesome Processed Foods has sealed no fewer than 30 illegal pharmacies and patent medicine shops and carted away fake drugs worth millions of naira in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state.
Dr. Olufemi Onanuga, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Health Care, who disclosed this on Wednesday while reviewing the report of the recent raid in Lagos, explained that the affected outlets were sealed off for various offences contrary to the provisions of the law on the operation of pharmacies and patent medicine stores in Lagos State.
According to him, the sealing of the pharmacies and patent medicine stores was in accordance with the provision of Chapter C34 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provision) Act of 1999, No 25.
“The closure is part of the government’s renewed efforts at ridding the state of fake, substandard and illegal drugs’ operators and outlets as well as ensuring high drug quality through sanitation and streamlining of drug distribution system in the state”, Onanuga noted.
The special adviser added that the recent raid by the task force on fake drugs was necessitated by the persistent defiance of government’s stipulated regulations on drug production, importation, manufacture, sales or display for sales, hawking, distribution, adulteration, and possession of drugs by illegal operators.
He noted that the affected pharmacies and patent medicine stores were sealed off for offences ranging from sales of drugs without licence from the regulatory authority to failure or refusal to relocate from a market area and adherence to the mandated distance between a patent medicine shop and market place as stipulated by the law; and sales of counterfeit and fake drugs, amongst others.
Onanuga listed some of the affected patent medicine stores and unregistered premises as including Golden Rule Pharmacy located at 100, Ojo Road, Ajegunle; Barnaeto Pharmacy at 31, Turner Street, Amukoko; God’s Power Pharmacy at 84, Cemetry Road, Amukoko; Octobian Pharmacy at 107, Ojo Road, Ajegunle; Complete Cane Pharmacy at 30, Jimoh Ojora Road, Ajegunle; Le-Remede Pharmacy at 83, Cardoso Street, Ajeromi; Ede Udo Medical Centre, Ajegunle and Almart Pharmacy at 32/41, Baale Street, Ajegunle.
Others, according to him, include Andy OK Pulor Pharmacy at 19, Taiwo Street, Olodi-Apapa; KC Investment at 2, Taiwo Street, Olodi-Apapa; Vimek Pharmacy at 62 Osho Drive, Olodi-Apapa; Figab Pharmacy at 19, Muyibi Street, Olodi-Apapa; Basil Igbo Pharmacy at 82 Oluwa Street, New Road, Olodi-Apapa and some unnamed pharmacies and drug stores located at 8 Ohutan Street, Ajegunle; 17, Orodu Street, Ajegunle; 38, Bale Street, Ajegunle and 24, Iyalode Street, Ajegunle amongst others.
The special adviser, who expressed concern over the danger posed by the nefarious activities of illegal operators of patent medicine and pharmacy stores in the state, added that it was particularly disheartening that despite the provisions of the law which outlines requirements for registration and renewal of pharmaceutical premises, some people still chose to stay on the wrong side of the law.
He urged operators of pharmacies and patent medicine stores to ensure that their activities are within the ambit of the law just as he reiterated government’s avowed commitment to streamlining the drug distribution system in the state in order to ensure the safety of the citizenry.
“It is important that operators of pharmacies and patent medicine stores operate within the ambit of the law regulating their operations as the state government would not take it lightly with any operators of pharmaceutical products who disregard the laws of the state”, Onanuga said.
The task force’s raid was conducted in conjunction with the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) officials, representatives of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health and officers of the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad.