Community pharmacists upbeat over distribution guidelines’ new take-off date
Notwithstanding several delays on implementation of the new National Drug Distribution Guideline (NDDG), community pharmacists are upbeat on the August 2017 proposed take off date.
The pharmacists, under the aegis of Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Lagos branch, are optimistic that the guideline will correct the chaotic distribution system, which they described as an embarrassment to the country.
Speaking at the maiden pharmacists wholesalers summit, organised by ACPN and Phillips Pharmaceuticals Nigeria Limited in Lagos, the pharmacists said they were getting prepared in anticipation that the new date will be sacrosanct and the document implemented as laid down.
It would be recalled that the NDDG, aimed at re-organising the drug distribution system in Nigeria to ward off faking, adulteration and open drug market among others, was originally due to take off in 2014. With stakeholders feeling uncomfortable with requisite infrastructure needed, the take off was deferred till 2015 and subsequently 2016.
Chairman of the Lagos ACPN, Biola Paul-Ozieh, said though the laudable initiative had tarried in actual take off, it is better late than never.
Paul-Ozieh said the association had taken it upon itself to sensitise her members that will be operating at different levels of the guideline to brace up for the new regime.
She said: “As an association, we deem it fit to further enlighten our members that are wholesalers, retailers and distributors. We thought it is better for everyone to be carried along. We all need to be on the move and ready to take advantage of the guidelines.”
The chairman added that the current chaotic system was indeed a great embarrassment to the country and individuals that are at the receiving end of fake or substandard drugs.
“Our treatment failure rate is so high. The drug abuse and miss-use in the society, drug resistance by some ailments are traceable to this chaotic distribution and uncoordinated system that we have. If something can be done, definitely it will impact on the health of our country,” Paul-Ozieh said.
Guest speaker at the forum, Dr. Adesoji Adegbite, added that it was on account of the chaotic distribution system that “every player has become a loser where we supposed to gain.”
Adegbite said: “In every layer of drug distribution, the rules are not being followed. Manufacturer is ready to under play everyone within the channel and at the end of the day, he will be a loser. That is the current situation.
“But there is need for us to come together to work as a team and save us this embarrassment. A country, as large as Nigeria, our drugs cannot be taken to other African nations. That is why we need to reorganise. We might have got it wrong in the past, but we need to organise.