As part of the Federal Government’s commitment to ending open drug hawking, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) has said that the activities would be eradicated totally by Aug. 1, 2017.
Mr. Elijah Mohammed, Registrar of the Council, said in Abuja on Monday this was part of efforts to regulate drug distribution system in the country adding that the move would assist in curtailing the menace of open drug sale.
Mohammed attributed major challenges in the health system to open drug hawking adding that a lot of the hawkers sold fake and adulterated drugs.
The registrar stated that coordinated wholesale centres were currently being built in four states of the federation including Kano, Lagos, Onitsha and Aba where open sale of drugs is predominant.
He said that the drug dealers would be relocated to the centres to enable them to carry out their activities in a coordinated and regulated manner.
According to him, the centres would go a long way to curtailing drug hawking, among others, as there would be strict regulation of drug distribution and sales at the centres.
Open drugs marketers or dealers are unlicensed medicines sellers. They are found in and around the streets, such as Idumota in Lagos, Onitsha, over- head bridges, Sabongari in Kano and Nyanya-FCT.
The registrar however said that anyone cut operating outside those centres after the specified date would be arrested and prosecuted by security agency.
“The issue of open drug market will come to an end by Aug. 1st,2017 and we are working toward that and have put in place necessary measures to take care of that which is the coordinated wholesale centres.
“The coordinated wholesale centre in Onitsha which is situated in Oba will take care of the Onitsha overhead bridge. And we have inspected the location and been granted approval and development has started.’’