Pharm. Bola Adeniran is the Chairman of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Lagos State Branch. She spoke in this interview with PharmaTimes GABRIEL IFINNWA on the need for the Federal and State Governments to empower regulatory agencies to fight fake and adulterated products in the country, among other things.
You are the first female to occupy the position of Chairman since the inception of the Association. What motivated you to contest the position?
In my profession, there is no woman. We are all men of honour. Whoever is elected as Chairman enjoys the cooperation of all. I am motivated by the desire to see a good practice environment for all Pharmacists, be it in the Hospital, Community, Industry and Academia, to be fulfilled in a chosen area of practice thereby giving sound pharmaceutical care to the public.
How would you assess your tenure so far?
So far it has been a success story, glory be to God. We had gone out on inspection and monitoring about four times between April and September. The Abuja PCN had come to Lagos on enforcement twice while the Task Force had gone out like three times. These are all done to sanitise the practice environment and ensure that quality drugs are delivered to general populace.
What are some of the important programmes you’ve embarked on as PSN Chairman – Lagos State chapter?
Monthly General Meetings that are informative and educative coupled with lectures that are relevant to the practice. Also, seek to collaborate with all technical groups to carry out enlightenment programmes for Pharmacists and the public through Medical Outreaches and Continuing Education; to carry out welfare contributory programme for Pharmacists in case of death similar to Life Insurance Policy. Engaging and Supporting the State Pharmaceutical Inspection Committee (PIC) in areas of Inspection and Monitoring activities to sanitise the practice environment; to ensure the completion of Lagos State PSN Pharmacy house and making it a state of the art edifice; and, the purchase of Society’s bus to enhance monitoring and inspection activities.
How best do you think the issue of drug counterfeiting can be handled in Nigeria?
The Federal and State governments should empower the various regulatory bodies such as PCN and Task Force on Fake and Adulterated products; encourage local drug manufacturing by providing adequate facilities and infrastructures that will make drugs available, accessible and affordable to the people; a reduction in tariffs on equipments raw materials, as this will bring down the cost of production; stop multiple taxation of pharmaceutical production outfits; ensure a restricted and legal distribution framework for drugs from the manufacturers and importers to registered pharmaceutical companies rather than the current amorphous and unrecognised distribution in place at present; adequate provision and supply of foreign exchange at specially discounted rates for drug production and life-saving medical equipments and consumables.
The consuming public is still faced with the challenges of availability, accessibility and affordability of drugs. How can this be tackled?
The Challenges of availability, accessibility and affordability of drugs will automatically be resolved once the various identified responsibilities of governments and practitioners are taken care of.
What type of legacy do you want to leave as Chairman PSN, Lagos State Chapter?
Good Practice environment; empowered Pharmacists; state of the art Secretariat; Informed Public on who a Pharmacist is, and relevance of the Pharmacy Practice to their health outcomes, devoid of drug misuse and abuse.