The Lagos State government has shut 34 medicine outlets at Shomolu, Bariga, Gbagada, and Ifako areas of Shomolu and Kosofe Local Government areas as well as Bale and Savage streets in Orile Iganmu Local Council Development Area of the state for non-compliance to regulatory standards.
Commissioner for Health in the state, Professor Akin Abayomi, disclosed this on Friday after reviewing the report of the recent monitoring, inspection and enforcement exercises carried out by the Lagos State Taskforce on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Food.
He explained that the affected outlets were shut for contravening regulations guiding the operations of the sale of medicines in the state.
“The sealing of the affected medicine outlets was in accordance with the provisions of Section C34 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods Miscellaneous Provision Act of 1999,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by the spokesman for the health ministry, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo.
Abayomi stated that the affected premises were sealed for offences including inappropriate storage conditions of drugs, having unskilled persons handling and dispensing drugs, sale of drugs by illegal shop owners, stocking of expired drugs, and sale of drugs in marketplaces.
Noting that the sale of medicines was only allowed in registered and licensed outlets, he said patent medicine vendors were authorised to sell drug products only in their original and approved pack size as produced by the manufacturing companies.
The commissioner added that the law prohibits patent medicine vendors and licensed pharmaceutical premises from operating beyond their scope.
According to him, the recent operation was a follow-up to the rejigged enforcement exercise by the task force to sanitise the drug distribution chain in Lagos.
“The Task Force enforcement activities in Shomolu and Bariga LGAs was a follow up to previous enforcement exercise conducted in the areas in October which is aimed at compliance,” Abayomi explained. “The revisit revealed a significant success in the war against fake drugs and illegal drug shops in Lagos as 16 shops earlier sealed were met evacuated and are no longer involved in the illegal sale of drugs.
“The November enforcement exercise at Savage and Bale streets in Orile-Iganmu LCDA was to prevent clustering of drug outlets which are haven for fake drugs. It is worthy to mention that 13 out of 14 outlets visited were sealed, one of the sealed premises was found to be stocking expired drugs that are hazardous to the health of the state citizenry.”
He promised that the activities of the task force would not only be sustained but intensified until stakeholders in the pharmaceutical value chain appreciate the need to adhere strictly to the provisions of the law.
The Director of Pharmaceutical Services in the ministry, Mrs Oyebisi Omolambe, on her part, said the government would not relent in its efforts to stop the inherent dangers associated with the operations from unlicensed pharmaceutical outlets and drug shops.
She added that the task force, through the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate Unit (PIU) of the Pharmaceutical Services Directorate, has been re-energised to intensify the ongoing war against fake, expired and substandard drugs being peddled by unlicensed and illegal operators.
“This closure is thus part of the government’s renewed efforts to sanitise the drug distribution system and curb proliferation of fake drugs in the state,” said Omolambe.