The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has insisted that the patent medicine dealers, otherwise known as “chemists” must come under their regulations.
The Council said those without its current licence will be treated as criminal.
But the patent medicine dealers under the umbrella body of Nigerian Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED) said it was not against regulation, rather what it was asking for was that its scope of operation be expanded to accommodate work done.
Speaking Monday at the 1st National Summit of the group, NAPPMED national President, Prince Joel Odoh said what they want from the government and its regulatory body was a dialogue to discuss the expansion of work that the group should be allowed to do.
He noted that the current regulation guiding the operation of NAPPMED does not allow members to treat certain diseases like diarrhoea.
This he said was a big shortcoming that must be addressed.
He said, “Some of the issues we are having pertaining to licensing, we don’t have to deceive ourselves, the licence PCN is given the patent dealers did not cover all our operations.”
He disclosed that their licence does not cover treatment of diarrhoea and headache, even for those in the rural areas where serious medical care.
He therefore disclosed that NAPPMED was not afraid of regulation but was averse to limiting of its operation, which he said was inimical to its existence.
He therefore called for a round table discussion with the regulatory body.
Odoh stressed with over 950,000 memberships, the group should be given some recognition.
NAPPMED president added, ” our request is not out of place, we need to be recognized more than before as the first point of contact by patient in especially the rural areas of the country. Our members need to be encouraged to attend that will enhance their knowledge in drugs and patient handling. In the area of finance, I plead with the Federal Government to deliberately structure financial assistance to us to enable us increase our purchasing capital which we also be to the benefit of the less privilege. Nigerians we serve, as we would now be able to stock.
“There is a lot of work to be done, and I am determined to lead a NAPPMED that will be a reference point in good dealings and adherence to regulations. As I observed yesterday in my speech at the rally, my idea is to begin a rebranding of our association to ensure that our members do not get involved in sharp practices, like drugs adulteration and ministration of fake expired drugs on patients. We shall do more to make our existing taskforce able to do their work of surveillance and enforcement.”
PCN spokesperson, Mr. Sam John however said that both parties signed a MoU and NAPPMED should be guided by that.
John noted that after the court ruling, NAPPMED was expected to come under the regulations of the council.
He stressed that this was to ensure checks and prevent operation of quacks in the business.
He also warned that anyone found wanting will be treated as criminals.