Kazeem Ugbodaga

FILE PHOTO: Lagos State Ministry of Health officials shut down an illegal medical center

FILE PHOTO: Lagos State Ministry of Health officials shut down an illegal medical center

The Lagos State Government has shut down 29 illegal pharmacies and chemists across the State for operating illegally.

Officials of the Lagos State Taskforce on Fake, Counterfeit and Unwholesome Processed Foods raided the patent stores on Monday and shut them down for operating without being registered with the government.

Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Modele Osunkiyesi explained that the 29 shops were sealed off for various offences contrary to the provisions of the law on the operation of Pharmacies and Patent Medicine stores in Lagos State.

Osunkiyesi noted that the latest closure was coming on the heels of the government’s renewed mandate to the Taskforce to comb all nooks and crannies of the state for illegal patent medicine and pharmaceutical stores’ operators.

“The closure is part of the government’s efforts at ridding the state of fake, substandard and illegal drugs’ operators and outlets as well as ensuring high drug quality through sanitation and streamlining of drug distribution system in the state,” she said.

The Permanent Secretary noted that the sealing of fake pharmaceutical premises was in accordance with the provision of Chapter C34 of the Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provision) Act of 1999, Number 25.

Osunkiyesi added that the raid was necessitated by the persistent defiance of government’s stipulated regulation on drug production, importation, manufacture, sales or display for sales, hawking, distribution, adulteration, and possession of drugs by illegal operators.

According to Osunkiyesi, the shops were sealed off for offences ranging from sales of drugs without license from the regulatory authority; to failure or refusal to relocate from a market area and adherence to the mandated distance between a patent medicine shop and market place as stipulated by the law; and sales of counterfeit and fake drugs amongst others.

She listed some of the affected patent medicine stores and unregistered premises as including; Goodnews Store located at 8, Badore Road, Folarin Bus-stop, Ajah; Jonadab Nwaogwugwu Chemist, Seyi-Omogwa Street, Lakowe Phase2, Lekki; and BL Supermarket, Yomade Shopping Mall, Awoyaya Bus-stop, Lekki.

Others are; Tela Rose Pharmacy, 13 Shonibare S. Complex, Awoyaya, Ibeju-Lekki; Omata Chemist, 2 Seyi Omogwa Street, Lakowe Phase2, Lekki; and Uzoma Shop, Bale Palace, Abijo town, Lekki; and Chidominion Stores, Olasuru Shopping Plaza, Haruna Bus-stop, Sangotedo, Lekki, Ajah.

The Permanent Secretary also listed Chinkem Pharmaceutical Ltd., Sangotedo, Lekki, Ajah; Shade Chemist, 2, David Oladapo Street, Ajah; Big Friend Merchant Store, Sangotedo Ajah; and Kike Medicine Stores, Oke-Imole Street, Sangotedo, Ajah as outlets that were affected by the exercise.

Osunkiyesi who expressed concern on the danger posed by the nefarious activities of illegal operators of patent medicine and pharmaceutical stores in the state added that it was particularly disheartening that despite the provisions of the law which outlines requirements for registration and renewal of pharmaceutical premises, people still chose to stay on the wrong side of the law.

She urged operators of pharmaceutical shops and patent medicine stores to ensure that their activities are within the ambit of the law just as she reiterated government’s avowed commitment to stream lining the drug distribution system in the state in order to ensure the safety of the citizenry.

“It is important that operators of pharmaceutical shops and patent medicine stores operate within the ambit of the law regulating their operations as the state government would not take it lightly with any operators of pharmaceutical products who disregard the laws of the state,” she said.