Vanguard (Lagos)

25 December 2012

Nigeria: PSN Calls for Uniform Drug Prescription Policy

WORRIED about the epileptic nature of the dispensing, sale, custody and supply of drugs in the country, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, has issued a clarion call for enactment of the drug prescription policy in Nigeria.

President of the PSN, Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, who made the call during the official commissioning of the Society's new e-library at the Pharmacy House in Lagos, said existing laws implicitly imply that only registered pharmacists and registered pharmaceutical premises have legal responsibilities to dabble into the dispensing, sale custody and supply of drugs in the country.

"It is an irony that despite provisions of the various Acts of Parliament and drug policies, over 99 percent of hospitals in the private sector actively stock, sell and dispense drugs in unregistered pharmacy facilities while the professional; function of dispensing is jeorpadised completely as drigs are routinely handed over to clients by untrained hands," Akintayo remarked.

Lamenting the absence of a standard procedure for issuance of prescriptions, the PSN President said it had become imperative to sound a clarion call to relevant stakeholders to push an agenda for uniform prescription pads to be personalized with the registration number and other details of the prescriber.

"Even when some health institutions generate internal prescription pads for use of their healthcare staff, it cannot be classified as ideal because it bears no professional relevance outside the walls of such institutions because identities of the prescribers cannot be verified."

He observed that pharmacists who dispense based on such prescriptions must also authenticate with their professional seals. "Once this type of template is formalized, challenges of drug dispensing and prescription would be gradually redressed. This would put an end to the blame game between pharmacists and doctors," he stated.

On the e-library facility, financed by the CEO, Embassy Pharmaceutical Ltd., Lagos, Pharm. Nnamdi Obi, Akintayo said it was necessary to raise the bar in drug information services to pharmacists, care providers and other consumers of health by providing a platform that guarantees easier access to relevant information.

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