Older Nigerian Pharmacists Must Stop Using Perimetre Fencing Strategy To Frustrate Young Pharmacists Out Of Retail Practice

perimetre fencing

I have been wondering for a long time why you would come to a very long road and see only two or three pharmacies but when you go to PCN to ask for location inspection, you will be told that there are more than five pharmacies on that road. I did not understand it until I was almost locked out by the practice and that was when  I heard about perimeter fencing and the strategy is so simple but very effective in locking out new retail pharmacies from coming up in an area.

Here is how it works. Assuming two pharmacists own outlets on a street that can comfortably take five pharmacies, they will locate other sites along that street, register that site but without ever opening it. Because that site is now registered, it automatically locks out any other pharmacy that would want to open within two hundred metres to it.

What this means is that if I have a pharmacy at the beginning of a street and register another one that I do not intend to operate about three hundred metres from the first one, it means that no other pharmacy can register within five hundred metres from the premises I am operating. That way, when two pharmacists collude, they can use perimeter fencing which is the name it is known by, to lock out any other pharmacist who wants to open an outlet on that street.

For this to work, the fencing pharmacists become very active in ACPN and join in going for inspection. They will be the ones that will point out that a premises is at the point they used as the perimeter fencing point.

The second reason this is so effective is that they just register the place once and never reregister it again because they know that PCN rarely bothers to check on premises that are not renewed. This way, they may be using that fencing for years without any other premises ever opening on that street. Once in a while though, an inspector who does not know about it will register a new premises within the perimeter fenced area and the pharmacist with that perimeter fence will quickly get a register and go pharmacist to reregister the place for that year and with that he will kick out the new entrant and go back to his practice again.

Although I have pointed this out to PCN and funny enough, the day I was pointing it out, a young pharmacist walked in and wanted to understand why his place was not recommended despite the fact that there was no visible or registered pharmacy close to his location.

The pharmacy profession in Nigeria cannot move forward if practices like this are allowed to go on. This is also the key reason why only PCN staff should be allowed to go for inspection because that way, they will be working with the list of fully registered pharmacies and not that of perimeter fencing pharmacies.


photo credit  www.cometonigeria.com

2 thoughts on “Older Nigerian Pharmacists Must Stop Using Perimetre Fencing Strategy To Frustrate Young Pharmacists Out Of Retail Practice

  • May 6, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    You just narrated a similar happening experienced under the PIC for Zone 6 (Ikotun-Egbe Zone of Lagos state).
    It was my experience.
    In my own case, I did a thorough search at PCN Yaba Zonal office using their computer records.
    At the end of the search, there was NO RECORD of an existing premise.

    Surprisingly, on the appointed day for the Location Approval of my proposed premise, the PIC visited my premise only to CLAIM that there is a property near-by with Location Approval that was done in 2012 i.e three (3) years ago.
    They said that the they would favour the owner even though it was obvious that he did not renew the Location Approval CLAIMED to have been done in 2012.
    Did they say three (3) years ago!!!
    Yes ooo!!!!

    Among the PIC team that visited my proposed premise, three (3) of them were old cronies of the owner of the other premise. Once I observed this, I knew that the chances of getting fair hearing in the matter was next to nothing. The option to co-exist was even thrown out of the window before it was raised.

    For want of space I may not be able to type-out how this case has progressed. But I must say that a lot of unwritten rules were factored in and out by PCN when they handled this case.

    For example, the official books that guide the action of PCN or Pharmaceutical Inspectors did not state any where that Location Approval has an expiry date of six (6) months. But anyone who has had something to do with Community Pharmacy practice in Nigeria would tell you that there is a rule like that.
    Yes, you would be told that there is a rule which says that Location Approval expires after six (6) months. It is common knowledge to us all…!!!

    My people, if Location Approval cannot expire, what it means now is that anybody who obtains Location Approval for a premise in 2015 for example can decide to allow the site to lie fallow for as long as he likes.
    But when he learns that a new premise is about to open near-by, he would then resurrect and make effort to strangulate the person’s dreams & savings.
    It is sooo… unfair! I even took this matter up with the Registrar but it was thrown out again.
    What a pity for posterity!!!
    Pls if anyone knows how to handle this case, kindly e-Mail: lok8kay@gmail.com

  • August 12, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Quite frustrating


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