Article originally posted by Pharmacy Watch
The issue of open drug market, and its detrimental effect on the populace cannot be over emphasized. From fakery, to altered label, to parallel importation and so on, the open drug market has, for so many years acted as a safe haven for those who have little or no regard for human life. The detrimental effect of chaotic drug distribution, “headquartered” in open markets are so far reaching that it requires not just an urgent attention, but a total state of emergency.
Since 2010, when the federal government established the Presidential Committee on Pharmaceutical Sector Reform and charged it to develop a strategy towards the institutionalisation of a well-ordered drug distribution system. The strategies adopted by the committee to achieve this include the development of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines in 2010 to provide guidance for drug distribution. One of the recommendations, and rightly so, was the closure of the open drug markets, however up till today, the only noticeable action taken so far with respect to this recommendation has been postponement. Last year June, the permanent secretary in the ministry of health, Linus Awute(now retired), said
“We are hopeful that the existence of open drug markets in the country will be a thing of the past as the drug distribution system of the country has remained uncoordinated, chaotic and has resulted in the circulation of fake, adulterated, substandard and counterfeit drugs.”, a deadline was set for this year, August to be precise, However, on Saturday, the minister of health, prof Adewole said the Federal Government was determined to stop the sale of drugs in open markets in the country at the end of 2018.
Mr. Adewole made this known when he visited the site for the construction of a Pharmaceutical Coordinated Wholesale Centre at Oba, near Onitsha in Anambra.
The Federal Government had announced July 31, 2017 as the deadline to end the sale of drugs in open markets.
“May be people still believe that the Federal Government is joking, government does not joke.
“We do not want fake drugs or falsified labels; we just want genuine drugs and the only way to do so is centralizing the drug market so that we can determine what comes in and what goes out.
“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 Government for supporting the project, and urged the leadership of the drug market in the state to settle their disputes amicably.
We hope they are serious this time, and hopefully, we will see the end of this shifting culture