Ifeoma Kalu, the Chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in Abia, on Wednesday urged Federal Government to ensure full funding of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria.
Kalu told the News Agency of Nigeria in Aba that adequate funding of the council would successfully checkmate the rampant drug abuse in the country.
According to her, efforts made by government, its agencies and other bodies to reduce rampant drug abuse will not bear much fruits without full funding of the council which enforces drug distribution guidelines.
She said: “It is the Pharmacy Inspectorate Committee, an arm of the council that goes round to carry out drug guidelines enforcement.
“The PIC from Abuja comes for enforcement in the states in collaboration with the state PIC.
“Many times, they do not inform us when they will be coming; they just come in to carry out their enforcement.
“They enforce drug distribution guidelines which is part of what we are witnessing with the plan to set up drug marts in some states across the Federation.
“The aim of that guideline is to stop the chaotic drug distribution system in Nigeria which makes it easy for non-Over-The-Counter drugs to be accessible to all.
“The guideline has been in place for some time now, but has not been fully implemented.”
She said that due to the poor budgetary allocation, the committee was always complaining of paucity of funds to carry out routine inspection.
Kalu said: “Any enforcement it decides to do always involves millions of naira.
“It all involves money, so the government needs to empower them in all ramifications if government wants abuse of drugs to be under control.’’
Kalu reminded the government of the need to reconstitute the dissolved PCN board to help the re-appointed registrar to function fully and enable proper PCI operations.
She said that the chapter would soon start radio programmes and regulatory enforcement to reduce drug abuse in the state.
The chairman said that any effort by the society must, however, be complemented by the national PIC to make its efforts more rewarding.
She said that the PSN in Abia was doing its bit to ensure that rampant drug abuse arising from easy access to drugs was reduced through education and enlightenment of all residents.
Kalu said that her chapter had started enlightening public secondary schools in the state on the need to avoid drug abuse.
She said that feedbacks showed that its programmes was bearing fruits, as some of the students had also started educating their peers and parents on how not to use drugs.
The PSN chairman urged residents to join hands with the body to ensure that the state was made safe from drug abuse, while enhancing safety of the residents.