‘Nigeria needs technology to tackle influx of fake drugs’
• Pharmacist condemns rivalry among health workers
A seasoned pharmacist, Mr. Odukoya Taofik Oladipupo, has called on the Federal government to urgently deploy technology in tackling the problem of influx of fake drugs into the country.
Oladipupo, Proprietor of Vanguard Pharmacy Limited, who spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital also appealed to the government to start enforcing strict control and regulations of drugs imported into the country.
In his view, the high level of corruption in Nigeria had contributed greatly to the causes of fake drugs distribution and charged the government, not only to ensure the establishment of a standard distribution channel of drugs but also ensure its full implementation.
He said, “There has been a campaign in the last two, three years by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) against the influx of fake drugs into the country. One of the solutions to influx of fake drugs that has been helping other countries of the world is to go the technology way.”
He spoke at the weekend during the commissioning ceremony of the Abeokuta branch of the store.
Vanguard Pharmacy store is a one stop drug store that provides the general public with quality products and services. The store already has two branches in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Oladipupo lamented that the drug industry in Nigeria lack a standard distribution channel system, stressing, “We ought to have a standard distribution channel of drugs in the country but the problem we have in Nigeria today is that drugs come in from anywhere and we cannot trace them.”
According to him, “The only way we can track distribution of fake drugs in the country is through the use of technology. We do not have a standard distribution channel of drugs. But once we can establish a good drugs distribution channel, it will make life easy, in that every drugs coming in to the country will be monitored down to the last line, the end user, you can do recall of drugs even when they are not fake.”
“The Minister of Health recently gave the go ahead of the implementation of a standard distribution channel of drugs that we have been fighting for since 2013, it will actually be implemented by next year, we are hoping that that will actually help, it will eradicate open market dealings on drug in the country,” he affirmed.
Oladipupo also decried the aged-long unhealthy rivalry between health workers and them to embrace peace and speak with one voice “all of us must see ourselves as a team rather than seeing ourselves as rivals.”
He called on the leaders of the various associations within the health system to “sit down together as one and brainstorm together and come up with a standard solution that can give us a standard overhaul of the health system.”
“For us to move forward in the health system in the country, all the health workers must see ourselves as one, that is the only way we can succeed. For example in Vanguard Pharmaceutical we are working with everyone, the nurses, the doctors so that our patients won’t suffer at the end of the day.”
On his suggestion that the government should employ technology to check influx of fake drugs, the renowned pharmacist said, “We are not saying that businessmen willing to invest in drug distribution and their businesses should not thrive but what we are clamouring for is control”.
He explained, “For example in Europe and America you do not have to be a pharmacist to be in the drug distribution business but you have to be under the regulation, tight regulation and that is also what we want here so that we are sure that whatever you are bringing into the country meets the minimum standard that is recommended for the people and if there are any issues in production, recall and all of that can be easily handled.”
He expressed the hope that the Health Minister’s directive towards the implementation of standard distribution channel of drugs next year would be obeyed this time around.
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