I was invited to appear before the Pharmacists inspectors committee meeting in Lagos last week because they said I I had the audacity to write about some of their practices that are destroying the career of a young pharmacist in Lagos.
One of the practices that I have been fighting is what is known as perimeter fencing. This is a practice where a pharmacist applies for location approval and uses that approval to prevent any other young pharmacist from getting an approval around that place for years.
I was summoned to answer why I wrote about the case of a young pharmacist that against all sense of justice and fairness was denied location approval and the excuse was that a location approval was given in 2012 to another pharmacist!!!!!
I was summoned with the young pharmacist and here is the case he stated before the whole P.I.C.
The young man registered a company and found a good location in Ikeja. He went to PCN office and painstakingly went through their records to see if there was any pending application or registered pharmacy premises around the site he found and there was none on the records.
He went to the neighbourhood where the site was and searched to see if there was any pharmacy or medicine store but found none. Just to be double sure, he went back to PCN again and checked their records but still he was told that there was no registered or pending applications for that place. The young pharmacist then went and paid for the site. He also applied for location approval.
That was where his problem began. Two weeks to the day of the inspection he saw a pharmacy opening soon banner in front of a building. He quickly went to PCN and was assured that there was no pharmacy registered or about to be registered around there.
On the day the PIC team finally came to his place, he said they were so hostile and were asking him questions that had nothing to do with his application. At the end, he was told that they will not approve his location because in 2012 another pharmacist had first applied for location approval and that was at the place the pharmacy opening soon sign was.
He then asked that he thought location approval lasted for six months and expires if the full registration was not done? He was shouted down. After this, he rushed down to PCN office and suddenly nobody wanted to attend to him anymore.
He finally was told to go and meet the other pharmacist that applied in 2012 and beg him to refund him the rent he paid for his site. He couldn’t understand the reason why he would go to someone breaking the law to beg for refund of his money when he was the one that was obeying the law.
This young pharmacist has been following up this case since last year and has been systematically pushed aside until he appealed for help on my site.
Now, according to the P.I.C my crime was that I had no right to publicize the appeal for help of this young pharmacist on my website. I was called all sorts of names but strangely nothing was said to the P.I.C inspectors that used a location approval given in 2012 but never followed up, as the sole reason for denying a young pharmacist approval for a location he had poured his life savings into. Nobody tried to discuss the reason why this young pharmacist was denied approval.
Also shocking was to hear and see the way the PIC was lashing out at this young pharmacist for having the audacity to go public with his case.
I now ask if this is the way justice should be done? I have heard the horrible experiences of young pharmacist in Lagos but for me to see a young pharmacist who has done everything following the registration rules for pharmacy premises registration to be treated as if he committed a crime simply because no one wanted to challenge the inspectors in question was the height of injustice.
But personally I was annoyed for someone to call me to stand trial because I wrote about the predicament of a fellow young pharmacist colleague who was crying out for help and justice. I openly let them know about my annoyance and they threatened to drag me before the disciplinary committee.
I sincerely wish they will carry out their threat so that I can spill all the beans I have about their activities.
On the bright side though, the new zonal head of PCN has taken up the case personally so I believe the young pharmacist will soon get justice.
contact this writer on 08023622171