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ACPN updates new guidelines, laws governing pharmacy practice in Nigeria

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
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In line with the upgraded National Health Insurance Authority, NHIA, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN, has released updated guidelines and laws governing the practice of pharmacy in the country.

In a letter addressed to the Director-General of the National Health Insurance Authority, NHIA, Prof. M.N. Sambo, and jointly signed by the National Chairman of the ACPN, Adewale Oladigbolu and the National Secretary; Pharm. Ezeh Ambrose, the association said it was necessary to update the NHIA about some paradigm shifts in the practice of pharmacy and most especially as it affects the operations of the NHIA which expectedly regulates and controls health insurance at the federal, state and private levels in Nigeria.
According to the letter, the guidelines would serve as a template for all pharmacists in the country to work with.

The letter which contained the guidelines reads in parts: Byf Government notice No. 108 after President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR signed a new Pharmacy Council of Nigeria Act 2022 (PCN Act 2022), the Federal Government officially announced through Gazette No. 157 of August 30, 2022, the coming into the life of a new Act of Parliament (PCN Act 2022) which has been structured to revolutionise pharmacy practice in Nigeria.

“We as representatives of Community Pharmacists in Nigeria find it necessary to draw your attention to this new act, in a bid to ensure Good Pharmacy Practice is enforced.

“In line with global best practices, the following new but salient provisions of law which will help the NHIA in coming up with lawful operational guidelines furtherance to rule of law in Nigeria have been passed.”

The ACPN further noted that it desires new tenets in the management of its relationship with the NHIA.

“Moving forward, we submit with a huge sense of responsibility that these terms and conditions will henceforth be grounded in compliance with all Acts of Parliament that are relevant in existing Pharmacy, Drug and Health statutes.

“We believe this is the minimum needed to reactivate our failing health system. In the spirit of our fellowship, we believe the director general and the patriotic staff at NHIA will make this happen in the public interest for consumers of healthcare in Nigeria.”

Some of the updates included laws about a pharmacy having an in-house pharmacist at all times to attend to patrons.

“Any place used for dispensing, selling, compounding, distribution, storage, stocking, retailing, wholesale, manufacturing, importation,the exportation of drugs and poisons, scientific offices or any other pharmaceutical activity shall be inspected and registered,byh the provisions of this Act,

“A person shall not own or operate a retail or community pharmacy practice unless the person is registered as a pharmacist under this Act.

“The Council may approve Satellite Pharmacy owned by licensed pharmacists who have a minimum of 10 years post-registration experience provided such Satellite Pharmacy is affiliated to a registered pharmaceutical premise for regulation and control.

“Every pharmaceutical premise is under the supervision of a Superintendent Pharmacist.

“Where a premise is operated without a Superintendent Pharmacist for a continuous period of 30 days, the registration of the premises licence shall lapse at the expiration of those 30 days.

“Every Pharmacy, whether in a public or private hospital, shall be under the supervision and control of a Superintendent Pharmacist.

“Pharmacies in public or private hospitals ⁰and clinics shall be subject to inspection, registration and annual licensure by the Council.

“Flowing from these express provisions of law reflected in the foregoing, the NHIA is respectfully expected to note as follows:

“Any location in Nigeria, no matter how insignificant it looks, where drugs are stocked and ultimately sold or dispensed must be registered by a Superintendent Pharmacist for inspection, registration and licensure by the PCN.

“All community pharmacies and hospital pharmacies in primary, secondary and tertiary facilities in both the public and private sectors for private insurance or at states/federal or public sector levels must be registered by a superintendent pharmacist for inspection, registration and licensure by the PCN.

“The NHIA is duly obligated by law to request for and provide evidence that all facilities it has approved for health insurance in both the public and private sector are beneficiaries of fee for service, which is the lawful payment mechanism to compensate for consumption in the health insurance dynamics are in essence compliant with all the provisos earlier cited in (1-9) of the PCN Act 2022.”

The association, however, solicits the maximum collaboration and support of the NHIA to note with a sense of responsibility that the spirit of the PCN Act 2022 both forbids and prohibits the dispensing of drugs by persons who are not registered and duly licensed pharmacists in Nigeria.

SOURCE: Vanguard News Nigeria

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