The Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria has organised a sensitization training for patent medicines vendors in Osun State on best practices particularly the appropriate storage and handling drugs.

Speaking with Daily Trust on the sideline of the event, the Director in charge of the South West Zonal Office of the PCN, Yejide Oseni cautioned patent medicines vendors not to trespass the boundary by selling medicines that they are not authorised to sell.

She explained that inappropriate handling and storage of medicines is contributing to the growing cases of kidney problems and destruction of some organs of the body when such drugs are consumed by people unknowingly.

Oseni said the continuous education programme organised by the PCN for patent medicines vendors in Osun State was aimed at ensuring that they stick to the best practice and operate within the limit and stay away from selling drugs that they not permitted to sell to people.

She noted that inappropriate handling and storage of medicine is capable to making such medicines to lose their effectiveness and "eventually turned them to poison which destroyed vital organs in humans."

According to her, "Drugs can expire before the expiration date given by the manufacturers. Inappropriate storage of drugs can make them to expire before the actual time. Some of these badly stored drugs can damage internal organs of whoever they are given to.

"Drugs manufacturers advise that these drugs should be stored at room temperature but since most of them are imported, the room temperature where they were manufactures is different from ours. That is why we encourage medicine vendors to get air conditioner and if they can get that, they need fans and the shops must have cross ventilation."

She warned patent medicine vendors against injecting or selling drips and other medicines which did not fall within the list of what they could sell. She also said it was illegal for patent medicine vendors to treat any sick person, saying they should refer such cases to other health facilities.

Oseni threatened that anyone who violated the guidelines would be sanctioned with either sealing up of their shops or license withdrawal.

The PCN boss stated that patent medicine vendors were allowed to sell drugs because of the shortage of pharmacists in the country, saying pharmacists were very scarce especially in the rural areas.

Oseni advised medicine vendors to always buy drugs from approved drugs distributors to be sure of the genuineness of their stock.

A former Director of Pharmaceutical Services in the Osun State Ministry of Health, Adepoju  Ojo, also advised medicine vendors not to buy drugs from hawkers and to also ensure that their medicines were always properly stored .

The Coordinator of National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control in Osun State, Mr. Olakunle Olaniran urged drug vendors to always ensure that the medicine they buy for sale is approved by NAFDAC.