Pharmacists under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has commended the Federal Ministry of Health for the laudable initiative of facilitating the National Drug Distribution Guidelines in collaboration with other stakeholders even as they expressed worry over intense politicking, which has affected the take off date.

The PSN President, Olumide Akintayo, in a letter addressed to the Supervising Minister of Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, noted that the original take-off date of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines and proposed sealing of all unauthorised open drug markets was fixed for June 30, 2014, but was postponed till July 1, 2015.

“From all indications not much has happened since last year when the take-off dates were adjusted except the recent dialogue between stakeholders and International Finance Corporation in March 2015.

“Consequent upon this, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria strongly suggests that the Steering Committee of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines is energised to immediately begin to work on realisable goals and targets of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines in 2015 as another postponement of the take-off date compels relevant stakeholders to treat the strategic National Drug Distribution Guidelines with contempt and levity”, he said.

The pharmacist enjoined the Federal Ministry of Health to reach out once more to operators in open markets to enable them strategize on how to regularize their business in tandem with existing laws and the National Drug Distribution Guidelines.

Akintayo also called for inclusion of health sector union members in the new Technical Review Committee (TRC) for the National Health Act.

“Naturally, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria accepts the principle of setting up a Technical Committee which is also within the powers of the Honourable Minister.

We are however worried that the members of the 26-man Technical Review Committee are unknown to a sizeable plethora of key stakeholders. More importantly is that from all indications, representation of the Technical Review Committee has not been extended to professional associations and trade unions in the Health Sector”, he added.

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