Online Pharmacy Rules: ‘Doing In-depth Work’

By Henri Uche

Following the regulations published in the Official Journal of Online Pharmacy, the Registrar, The Nigerian Pharmacists Council (PCN) Elijah Mohammed urged the council to do extensive work on regulation to protect the health of Nigerians.

Giving this load to Lagos at a meeting on online pharmacy regulation in Nigeria, Mohammed implored the NCP to do everything to differentiate real practitioners from fake ones, as online pharmacy undoubtedly affects the fabric of the world. economy, depending on how it is managed.

He instructed the NCP to consult with key stakeholders, especially community pharmacists, and to come up with a framework that would involve “checks and balances” to avoid any act that could endanger the health of Nigerians.

“All online pharmacies should be stored where PCN has control to enable them to check for false and unethical practices. The NCP must require that every drug sold online has proof of ethical sourcing for authenticity, ”he said.

He called on the NCP to bring down unscrupulous online pharmacy practitioners before implementation kicks off by 2022, noting that every certified online pharmacy should have a telepharmacy component, where a pharmacist has a face-to-face conversation. face to face with a client / patient. .

“PCN has to do a thorough job. We don’t need to risk the lives of Nigerians. So we need a strong system where more Nigerians can trust the process, have access to medicines, information and better health care. If we do things right the better for us, but if we do it wrong it will not bode well because drugs are not ordinary commercial items, they can be used to cure diseases as well as cause harm to consumers, ”he said.

He stressed that PCN expects all online pharmacy services to be of the same quality and standards as “brick and mortar” pharmacy, so patient safety should not be compromised.

“The NCP is ready to ensure compliance with online pharmacy regulations and is working with the Nigerian Police, Interpol Section, to ensure the closure of all illegal online pharmacy sites,” he added.

Also speaking, the National President of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Adewale Oladigbolu, recommended that the PCN engage digital natives and practitioners to accompany them on the digital journey, otherwise they would create a solution. for a problem they don’t understand.

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According to him, the ACPN recommends that PCN aggressively tackle major online marketplaces in partnership with Interpol and NCC, noting that all drug sellers on the platforms should be removed unless they provide authorization. PCN.

“We recommend the active participation of NDLEA, as it is evident that narcotics are widely distributed through the online pharmacy platform. The NCP at the national level will coordinate an online monitoring mechanism that will feed the NCP with market information.

He added that monitoring the physical store should be sufficient for the store’s online channel, while the current guidelines could be used for an online pharmacy that does not have a physical component.

“Major online marketplaces such as Jumia, Konga and Jiji must be officially disclosed to ensure that everyone who sells drugs on their platforms must present a PCN authorization,” he accused.

For her part, CEO of Advantage Health Africa, promoters of myMedicine, an aggregated online pharmacy in Nigeria, Abimbola Adebakin, said they did not want draconian laws or cumbersome implementation, but a flat -form to learn together.

“The Gazette says we (Online Pharmacy) can’t process prescription drugs, why? Most of what we do is prescription drugs. For example, a man with cancer is not looking for a supplement, but for a prescription to cure it. If the drug is not available in one part of the country but can be found in other parts, don’t we have to refill it? ”

She denounced the lack of a prescription validation platform in the Pharmaceuticals sub-sector which makes it difficult to identify qualified drug prescribers before drug administration.

“We shouldn’t be treated as if we are inferior to physical pharmacists because we are checking, we have pharmacists on duty who call patients, next to every online pharmacist is registered by a pharmacist superintendent in the future. We don’t need laws that negate the Practice.

Adebakin called for innovation, responsiveness and the future within the sector, noting that the landscape is changing as the digital space takes over and Nigeria cannot afford to back down. She called all the real ones in line Pharmaceutical practitioners coming in for regulation.

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