PCN Shuts Down 501 Medicine Shops in Plateau

The Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) has closed down 501 medicine shops in Plateau State for various violations, including selling medicines in open drug markets and operating without registration.

Offenses also included non-renewal of certificates, non-pharmacists dispensing controlled medicines, and stocking unauthorized medications.

According to Pharm. Stephen Esumobi, the Director of Enforcement at the Council, a total of 701 premises were visited by the enforcement team within three days, with the majority being pharmacies and illegal medicine shops. Adding that the highest concentration of illegal shops was found in an area called Old Bukuru Park in Jos.

He noted that the PCN is working to strengthen its state and zonal offices to uphold regulatory standards and ensure access to safe and quality medicines for Nigerians.

“One of the major factors affecting the quality of medicines in the medicine supply chain in Plateau State and other parts of Nigeria is the sale of medicines in open drug markets and other unregistered locations.

“The Pharmacy Council of Nigeria has communicated severally with the relevant stakeholders in the state, including the medicine dealers in the emerging open drug market, on the need to relocate to registered locations as their activities are in total violation of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines and the federal government directive that medicines should no longer be sold in the open drug market in Nigeria.”

Pharm. Esumobi also mentioned that the council had previously sealed several premises in Plateau State in 2022 and issued compliance directives to others.

He said, “Many of these premises took steps to comply; however, information available through our surveillance team indicates that some premises are yet to take steps to comply, while new illegal outlets are emerging in several locations across Jos metropolis. This necessitated this visit.”

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