The attention of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria has been drawn to concerns being expressed by some colleagues on the reviewed PCN Bill that is currently at the National Assembly.
For the records, the PCN Governing Council first initiated the review of the PCN Act in 2010 via a Committee comprising all stakeholders. It may also interest colleagues to know that the porosity of our laws also drew the attention of the Nigeria Law Reform Commission and the 8th National Assembly both of which commenced the review of the PCN Act without Consulting the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria. It is important to state that the said review had gone through 2nd reading before the attenton of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria was drawn to it. The PCN quickly intervened and the process was subsequently halted.
The Council at this pont deployed all efforts through the engagement of the Nigeria Law Reform Commssion and stakeholders (the leadership of ACPN inclusive), including our prestigous forum of past presidents of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) to reconsider clause by clause all the sections of the Bill to arrive at a Bill that would reflect global best practices
One of the key considerations was the improvement of access to quality and affordable medicines in the country through registered pharmacies (which currently has less than 30% coverage of the country) by targeting the underserved areas, empowering the professionals (Pharmacists) and ensuring efficient and effective pharmaceutical service delivery
Lel me state very strongly and in clear terms that everyone involved in this process that lasted over six months took the best interest (present and indeed future) of the profession and Pharmacists in general into consideration as well as the overall public health concern of the citizens or Nigeria before arriving at any conclusion
The said offensive Section 27 among others of the bill has been discussed and agreed upon at various pharmacy fora and recently at the town hall meeting durng the 2016 PSN Annual Conference m Minna Niger State.
I therefore wish to advice that we should not allow the politics and unfounded fears of chain-pharmacism and their tapestries becloud our sense of reasoning. We should avoid the use of ‘big lie’ theory to cause chaos and anarchy in the system.
It does not speak well for the professon, if some individuals choose to blatantly reject the collective position adopted through consensu by stakeholders and their leadership in crucial matters like this one
It is regretable that some colleagues probably driven by personal interest and unfounded fears, now threaten to attend the public hearing to scuttle the passage of our proposed Bill. Ths will not only hurt the overall interests of our profession, it will also constrain the performance of our Council. I therefore urge all colleagues to accept the position supported by our current and past presidents in the interest of Pharmacy.
Let me remind colleagues of the recent resolution of the House of RepreSentative urging PCN to sanitize the drug distribution system in the country and ensure availability of quality, effective and affordable medicines to majority of the citizens. This is another wakeup up call in the direction of improving access to quality medicines from registered pharmacies.
I want to thank you for your kind understand, and co-operation as we join hands to take pharmacy profession and practice to the next level
Elijah Mohammed FPSN, FNIM, FNAPharm
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