Pharm. Mrs. Biola Paul-Ozieh, State Chairman of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (Lagos State), has lamented the continuous postponement of the closure of the Open Drug Market Deadline. This, experts note, is what is expected to pave way for the full implementation of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDG) which has been extended to January 2019.
While speaking to PharmaTimes at the recently held Community Pharmacists Education Conference (Lagos State Branch), the ACPN chairman expressed her displeasure concerning the continuous postponement, stating that the last postponement by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole was “a postponement too much, as they had postponed this deadline for the umpteenth time.”
Pharm. Mrs. Paul-Ozieh disclosed that the association had expected that by now the guidelines for the Open Drug Distribution Chain would have been implemented as this plan has been dragging for years.
Although she stated that she did not know the reason behind the continuous postponement of the deadline, she advised the federal government to be more proactive, because, “if they keep shifting the goal post, then we will never realise our objectives.”
She implored the government to build the political will to enforce this check on drug distribution and accessibility, as it is one of the major reasons for the poor ranking of Nigeria’s healthcare amongst other countries of the world.
Meanwhile, the chairman, Lagos State Branch expressed her pleasure over the successful Education Conference that took place recently. She informed journalists that it was the 3rd of its kind to be held by the Lagos State chapter during her tenure as chairman. The theme, Community Pharmacists: Healthcare Interventions for National Development was described as a timely one as it is in sync with the focus of the national pharmaceutical bodies in 2017.