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NAFDAC, Pharmacist Council seal over 1,300 medicine stores in Kano market crackdown

Joint Operation Targets Unsanctioned Pharmaceutical Practices Amidst Market Relocation Controversy

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In a coordinated effort to uphold pharmaceutical standards and address public health concerns, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in partnership with the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN), undertook a sweeping operation in Kano’s Sabon Gari market, resulting in the closure of more than 1,300 patent medicine stores. The crackdown, which occurred just 72 hours after a Federal High Court ruling mandated the relocation of drug dealers to a centralized wholesale center, underscores efforts to regulate drug distribution practices in the region.

Addressing reporters, Mr. Francis Ononiwu, NAFDAC’s Director of Investigation and Enforcement, emphasized the imperative of curbing the proliferation of substandard pharmaceutical products distributed by unlicensed vendors. He cited concerns over the distribution of counterfeit and adulterated medicines, highlighting the potential risks to public health posed by such practices.

Ononiwu outlined the enforcement operation as a crucial step towards sanitizing drug distribution channels and mitigating the adverse impact of unregulated pharmaceutical practices on public welfare. He stressed the necessity of relocating medicine dealers to the Coordinated Wholesale Centre (CWC) at Dangwauro village, citing inadequate storage facilities and the compromised efficacy of medicines stored under suboptimal conditions.

Despite the regulatory intervention, the Sabon Gari patent medicine dealers staged a protest at the Kano State Government House, expressing dissatisfaction with the court-ordered relocation. Alhaji Musbahu Khalid, chairman of the dealers’ association, voiced grievances regarding alleged exploitation by the operators of the new wholesale center, calling for government intervention to address their concerns.

In response, Alhaji Shehu Sagagi, Chief of Staff to Governor Abba Yusuf, reassured the protesting dealers of the government’s commitment to evaluating the situation and exploring avenues for resolution. Sagagi emphasized the importance of constructive dialogue and pledged to seek equitable solutions that balance regulatory imperatives with the welfare of stakeholders.

Amidst the evolving dynamics of pharmaceutical regulation and market management, the confrontation between regulatory authorities and medicine vendors underscores broader challenges in ensuring compliance with standards while safeguarding the interests of stakeholders in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical landscape.

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