The Federal Government has said it would close down all illegal drug markets in the country from January 2019.
Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, disclosed this in Abuja at the weekend while performing the groundbreaking ceremony of the Coordinated Wholesale Centre (CWC) in Abia State.
The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) quoted the minister as saying that the full implementation of the CWC component of the National Drugs Distribution Guidelines (NDDG) would also commence on January 1, 2019.
He said one of the major challenges in the use of medicines in the country was the unsatisfactory drug distribution system, which has led to poor product handling, difficulty in product tracking for statistical purpose, recall and circulation of substandard products, as well as audit trail and destruction of professional practice.
Adewole stated that the Federal Ministry of Health in its bid to reverse the ugly trend, had in 2013 issued the NDDG.
Registrar of PCN, Elijah Mohammed said the CWC was a concept within the NDDG to cater for those who are in the open drug market, saying that it would help sanitise drug distribution in the country because open drug markets are the hub of major drugs supply and drugs problems in the country.
He said that the Federal Government was sensitive to the yearnings of Nigerians provided the CWC, as an alternative to those in the open drug market instead of pushing them out.
Elijah said the CWC would provide effective regulatory activities and ensure good pharmaceutical service delivery in the country, adding: “This will entail control over the efficacy of drugs coming into Nigeria.”
“It is a purpose built infrastructure that will cater for storage condition, practice environment, security and regulatory activities.
“There are some drugs that need to be stored within a specific temperature, and the CWCs have such warehouses constructed for them, not like in the open drug market where everything is lumped under the sun and in stores that have no windows and other things”.