As part of strategies to tackle drug abuse, pharmacists under the auspices of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), have urged the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to carry out proper audit of all drug -manufacturing companies to ensure that companies’ account for whatever they manufacture.
The national body of the ACPN, which made the call, also urged the Federal Government to close all open drug markets as well as sanitise the existing drug distribution system, saying the moves would stem drugs from getting into the hands of wrong persons.
The National Chairman of ACPN, Dr. Albert Alkali made the call in Lagos, while announcing the 37th Annual National Conference of the ACPN that will hold in Benin, the capital of Edo State from Sunday to July 7, 2018. The theme of the conference is ‘Medicine Abuse in Nigeria: A Call to Action For Community Pharmacists’.
The conference will be chaired by Comrade Adams Oshiomole, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Prof. Ray Ozolua who will give the keynote address.
While the conference will be declared open by the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, his wife, Mrs Betsy Obaseki will participate in the planned walk.
According to Alkali, the keynote address speaker will definitely address the technical aspect of drug abuse including how to manage those that were already on drugs and for those that were not abusing drugs, he will highlight preventive measures, how to counsel parents, teachers and educationists so as to ensure that people do not abuse drugs.
Similarly, the Managing Director of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Registrar of the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) are expected to participate in the programme as well.
Alkali said: “One of the key things fuelling drug abuse in the country is the presence of the open drug markets.
“The Federal Government planned to close the markets by January, 2019 and we shall hold the government accountable for that.
“Open Drug Market is a big menace because people can access drugs from anywhere.”
The National Chairman of the ACPN said most codeine containing syrups were not got from pharmacies.
“They are gotten from illegal outlets and open drug markets that should be closed down.”
Similarly, he said the pharmacists will hold regulatory agencies including NAFDAC and PCN responsible for illegal drugs in circulation.
Alkali said, going by “The menace of drug abuse, things could no longer continue like before; things must change. It should not take foreign media to conduct investigative journalism on the abuse of codeine-cough syrup before we take action against drug abuse.”
On her part, the National Secretary of ACPN, Bose Idowu disclosed that up to 1,000 members have registered to participate in the conference.