I used to say one of the best things that happened to me was reading pharmacy in Nigeria. I was full of hope for the prospects the profession had to offer but little did I know about the depth of corruption in the system perpetuated by so called pharmacy premises inspectors.
I am getting nauseated by the kind of mails that I have been getting recently from pharmacists all over the country about what PIC inspectors are doing. I am nauseated because it seems as if they are doing it in collusion with pharmacist council of Nigeria. For instance when I wrote about that of atrocity on Isa Bio Ibrahim, I said he had taken the matter to court when I went to PCN to discuss the matter with one of their staff, I was told that ISA IBRAHIM BIO can not do anything. That he is just wasting his money.
But here is the one that nauseated me so much that I am beginning to regret reading pharmacy. A young lady wanted to open a pharmacy and because the rent was above N1000,000.00 per annum she wanted to be very sure that the premises met the guide line before paying. She went to one of the team leaders in charge of IKEJA zone and pleaded with him to come and help her check if the place met the required specification since the normal inspection took at least four months just to inspection a location for pharmacy in Nigeria (this something that normally should not take more than 24 hours).
The team leader went with her to see the place. The site was a wonderful location but after pretending to measure the place, the inspector told her the site did not meet P.I.C requirements and that she should look for another site. She was shocked a few months later to see a PHARMACY OPENING SOON sign in front of the place that she was told could not be registered.
Apparently, what happened was what happened with Isa Bio Ibrahim. What these inspectors do is that they have a list of people who meet them because they are looking for a good location. When a young pharmacist comes to apply for location approval and they see that the site is great, they will tell him that the site will not go but will go behind to tell one of their clients to apply for that same location which they will then come and register.
Apparently, the inspectors know that nothing will be done about this because they are doing it with so much confidence knowing that nobody will challenge them. I have received so much mails from people who have been robbed of choice locations and even after writing to pharmacist council of Nigeria about their cases, nothing will come out of it.
I just wonder where we are heading to with this profession. Pharmacy in Nigeria is decaying so much that its getting to a stage where its becoming all pharmacists to themselves.
Recently in the united states of America, a lot of blacks are rising against the police because the institution that is supposed to protect them are the people killing them. For pharmacy in Nigeria, its getting to a stage where everybody has to personally take their destiny in their hands because apparently, PCN is powerless to stop the rampaging inspectors.
But I am moving the game to the next fighting ring. The new government I know will be out to fight corruption. I will definitely through my mentor Prof Pat Utomi get this matter to the incoming Minister of health. May be that will give us some change. I will also be writing about this matter to Ben Murray Bruce so that the laws guiding pharmacy in Nigeria can be raised before the incoming seventh assembly.
God save pharmacy practice in Nigeria.
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