THE Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, has endorsed a proposed “tiered accreditation system” to control the flow and sale of medicines by patent and proprietary medicine vendors.
Under the tiering, proposed by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), medicine vendors will be accredited into any of around three tiers, based on their education, qualification and expertise.
Specific tier position will also determine what drugs they can stock from the approved patent medicines list.
But the tiering faced initial opposition from PSN over insufficient understanding and stakeholder discussion.
PSN, PCN, technical partners, pharmacists’ groups and the federal health ministry met at a “consultative engagement” this week for stakeholders to resolve differences over the tiering - and pave way for it to be piloted.
“We believe this system, if it goes well from the pilot they are doing, may be a greater opportunity to bring greater control in the pharmaceutical space and ensure there is high level of professionalism exhibited by all cadres of participants in the pharmaceutical chain,” said PSN President Sam Ohuabunwa, after the meeting in Abuja, supported by PSN-Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale.
Earlier, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (APCN) had faulted the proposal by the Federal Ministry of Health to create three tiers of eligible players in the sale of Over The Counter (OTC) drugs in Nigeria.
Ohuabunwa, however, noted that after a stakeholders meeting facilitated by PACFaH@Scale where the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) explained the workings of the pilot scheme, stakeholders were convinced that it was worth supporting.
“We saw from the side of PCN that it is something that is not against pharmacists, but may end up giving pharmacists a greater opportunity to have a handle on the pharmaceutical space, because that is a critical thing where pharmacists are concerned.
“For the good of the patient, we need to have a greater control of how drugs are distributed, who handles drugs, who gives it to the patient, is the patient properly counselled on how these drugs will be used,” Ohuabunwa said.