Bayelsa State Deputy Governor of, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has expressed concern over the growing menace of substandard and fake drugs being sold and consumed in the state.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo bared his mind on the development when the Bayelsa State branch of the Association of Lady Pharmacists (ALPs) of Nigeria paid him a courtesy visit at his office in Government House, Yenagoa.
The Deputy Governor noted that pharmacists occupy a prime place in any fight targeted at curbing counterfeit drug distribution, lamenting that the predominance of patent medicine shops and outlets in the state encourages the sale of inferior drugs to patients.
He therefore advised the members of ALPs to redouble efforts and partner their parent body, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and other statutory public agencies to take necessary steps to address the problem.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo maintained that tackling the sale of counterfeit drugs and checking the indiscriminate sale of highly regulated, prescriptive and addictive drugs to members of the public must be taken seriously by the Association and other stakeholders in the health sector.
To this end, he charged the pharmaceutical department of the State Ministry of Health to carry out thorough inspection of drug stores before issuing out patents to prospective medicine dealers.
The Deputy Governor also stressed the need for regular checks on already licensed drugstores and urged pharmacists to always uphold their ethical codes for the greater good of society.
The Bayelsa second citizen, however, commended the female pharmacists for their hardwork and promised to support them in their public health awareness campaign program and hosting of the South-South regional conference of the Association.
Earlier, Chairperson of the Association of Lady Pharmacists (ALPs), Bayelsa branch, Mrs Obidake Ebi Ruth, explained that they had lined up programmes for children deworming, cancer awareness, and anti-drug abuse campaigns to public schools
Mrs Obidake, who thanked the state government for its good works so far in the health sector, appealed for support to enable the Association host its South South regional conference billed for June, this year in Yenagoa.