FG Set to Shut Down Open Drug Markets from July 1

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Over the years, disorganized distribution of drugs have been the deal but the government isn’t okay with it, to ensure organized drug distribution system in the country, the federal government will on July 1 commence the implementation of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDGs).

During a press conference on Friday in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Linus Awute disclosed this adding that regulatory agencies like the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and NAFDAC will on that date resume the exercise of their mandate to ensure full compliance.

“We are hopeful that the existence of open drug markets in the country will be a thing of the past as the drug distribution system of the country has remained uncoordinated, chaotic and has resulted in the circulation of fake, adulterated, substandard and counterfeit drugs,” he said.

Awute said the chaotic drug distribution posed a very big challenge to the pharmaceutical sector in particular and the federal government in general, considering the negative impact the situation had on the entire healthcare delivery system of the country.

Leadership reports that the federal government established the Presidential Committee on Pharmaceutical Sector Reform and charged it among others to develop a strategy towards the institutionalisation of a well ordered drug distribution system.

The strategies adopted by the committee to achieve this include the development of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines in 2010 to provide guidance for drug distribution.

“The launch of the document in 2012 signalled the take-off of its implementation while the deadline was for the establishment of State Drug Distribution Centres (SDDCs) by the state governments and Mega Drug Distribution Centres (MDDSs) by the private sector was declared on 30th June, 2014.

“The deadline was, however, extended to 30th June, 2015 to allow more time for the establishment of more SDDCs and MDDCs,” Awute added.

He explained that as the new deadline date has drawn near, it was imperative to remind stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector and Nigerians so they would commence the full implementation of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines.

He said that state governments were allowed to upgrade their medical stores to the level of SDDCs, adding that states like Jigawa, Niger, and Ekiti had already commenced the implementation of the guidelines while Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Anambra SDDCs were ready for take-off.

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