Dr. Mohammed, the outgoing registrar of the PCN, presents his scorecard.
The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) is a statutory body of the Federal Government of Nigeria. It is an organization that is set up according to the decree 91 of 1992 (CAP P17 LFN 2004), under the administration of the Federal Ministry of Health. It is established for the sole purpose of regulating and controlling the practice of pharmacy and pharmaceutical education in Nigeria. It determines the professional standards in pharmacy and secures the establishment and maintenance of registers of pharmacists. It is also saddled with the responsibility of the registration of licenses of all pharmacists, pharmaceutical premises and issuance of permits to pharmacy technicians and registration and licensure of patent and proprietary Medicine Vendors.
Pharm. Elijah Mohammed, the outgoing registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), had a public presentation of his scorecard on the 7th of June, 2022, in Abuja. He mentioned that he has been able to reposition the council to deliver effective pharmacy practice in Nigeria. He also added that the operations of the council have been guided by his 4-point agenda — Repositioning the Registry for Effective Service Delivery, Institutionalization of Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP) in Nigeria, Transformation of Career Professionals into Intellectual Practitioners, and New Partnership for Progress Initiative (NPPI).
PCN says 25,000 illegal pharmacies in different Nigerian states.
During the course of Dr. Mohammed’s eight years in office, PCN sealed no fewer than 25,000 illegal pharmacies. They were sealed based on various reasons, which include poor documentation, poor hygienic environment, and improper regularization of papers. He acknowledged that before his appointment, eight years ago, the country had only 17 pharmacy and pharmaceuticals sciences faculties in the country. But now, it has increased to 30, with many others ready to start in a few months time. The PCN has also endorsed a new program, ‘Doctor of Pharmacy’. This program combines both the clinical and non-clinical concepts of pharmacy practice. The practice insists on the patient as the focus and the impact of drugs on the patient.
The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) sealed the premises of 56 pharmacies and 252 Patent and Proprietary Medicines Vendors Shops (PPMVs), in Benue State, as a result of the violation of the laid down regulations of the practice. For similar reasons, 502 pharmacies and PPMVs have been shut down in Kwara State. Also, in Bauchi State, 469 illegal pharmacies and patent medicine stores have been sealed for failure to register with the PCN and refusal to renew certificates with the PCN. General reasons for the seal of these pharmacies and PPMVs are poor sanitary conditions, poor documentation and non-display of premises and pharmacists annual licenses.
Challenges faced by the PCN and their reasons.
The PCN encountered some challenges in the past eight years which mostly includes human resources, and infrastructure. The pharmacy practice is also confronted with moral and ethical issues that may have assumed a crisis status. These issues include disobedience to pharmacy laws and ethics, decades of neglect and uncoordinated regulation, passivity by stakeholders that have produced different cultures of pharmacy practice with various appellations that is deficient of self actualization, and without true commitment to the ethics of the profession and control.
There are several reasons for the ethical misconducts in the pharmacy practice. One of such is the legalization of illegality on demand and the removal of the essence of pharmacy practice from the public domain. There is also lack of culture of respect and genuine appreciation, understanding and cooperation between the older, middle and younger generation of pharmacists. Lack of coordinated regulation and control is also an issue. These misconducts, if not well curtailed, might bring about a drawback to the progress of the practice.
Dr. Mohammed had a good rapport with development partners.
The managing director of the Society for Family Health (SFH), Omokhudu Idogbo, stated that the PCN, has since over five years of partnership, worked to aid the improvement of the contribution of private health sector providers, most especially the Community Pharmacists (CP) and Patent Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) in the country’s healthcare delivery system. Some of the key achievements of this partnership include a GPS map of PPMVs and CPs in 11 implementing states, the strengthening of the capacity of the PCN for effective regulation of CPs and PPMVs. There is also the delivery of high impact training on family planning and PHC services to private sector providers, commencement of the Tiered Accreditation System, the Satellite Pharmacy Model and the PPMV Hub and Spoke Supervisory Model.
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