The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, PCN, on Friday said that it had sealed 571 pharmacies and patent medicine stores in Bauchi, for various offences.

The PCN’s Director, Inspection and Monitoring, Anthonia Aruya, gave the figure at a news conference in Bauchi.

Mrs Aruya said that the affected premises comprise six pharmacies and 565 patent medicine stores, out of the 682 inspected by the PCN.

She said “a total of 571 premises, made up of six unregistered pharmacies and 565 patent medicine stores, were sealed for various offences, some of which include operating without registration and non-fulfilment of prerequisites of PCN.

“These include failure to renew premises licence, dispensing ethical products without supervision of a pharmacist and operating in unhygienic environment, among others.”

She noted that another 13 premises were issued compliance directives for offences that did not warrant sealing.

Mrs Aruya said that the PCN Enforcement Team that operated in Bauchi, had observed that many pharmaceutical premises commenced operations without fulfilling the minimum requirement for registration.

According to her, premises selling above their scope of operation, such as selling and dispensing of ethical products without the presence of superintendent pharmacist, or handling of controlled drugs, are violating the law.

Mrs Aruya noted that the enforcement in Bauchi was part of the efforts to address the ugly trend, and improve on quality service delivery.

“Owners of unregistered facilities have been visiting the PCN, Bauchi Office, to regularise their registration status, since the commencement of the exercise,” Mrs Aruya said.

The director urged the public to ask for registration status of facilities where they access their medicine, by requesting for current licenses issued by PCN.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that PCN was established by Decree 91 of 1992, now Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Act Cap P17, LFN, 2004, to regulate and control the practice of pharmacy in the country.