Continuous battle against unapproved system of selling drugs such in a way it been practice in open market across Nigeria may soon come to an end as Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, disclosed that Federal Government (FG) was determined to stop sale of medications in open markets in the country by end of 2018.
According to him, FG had announced July 2017 as deadline to end the sale of drugs in open markets and it could be that people are of believe that the government never meant its pronouncement.
Adewole, who spoke during his visit to construction site of a Pharmaceutical Coordinated Wholesale Centre at Oba in Anambra State, stated that government do not longer want to have fake drugs or falsified labels in circulation, safe genuine medications, and that centralizing a market for such is only measure to curb the practices.
“We have agreed to extend the deadline till Dec. 31, 2018 and that will be the last extension. We are irrevocably committed.
“By Jan. 1, 2019, if you are not here at the coordinated centre, then you cannot be anywhere. I am saying it with all seriousness that this is the last extension,” he said.
He commended the Anambra state government for supporting FG’s move, just as he urged the leadership of the drug market in the state to settle disputes among traders amicably.
The minister lauded the state on choice of location for the center, assuring that, work on the project would commence immediately to meet the deadline.
Earlier, Adewole, in company with Acting Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Yetunde Oni, visited the state’s Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe.
While receiving the minister, Okeke commended the FG for its resolve to end open sale of drugs, just as he recognise NAFDAC’s war against fake and counterfeit medicines in the country.
On his part of the NAFDAC boss, she urged stakeholders in drug business to join hands in safeguarding health of the nation.
According to her, the reason for the coordinated centre is to ensure that any drug under the facility is in appropriate drug storage condition.
“Such drugs must be registered, must be of the right quality, safe and efficacious for use because it is impacting on the health and wellbeing of the society,” Oni said.