By Henry Uche
Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) is seeking the collaboration of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to enforce the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria Act 2022 (PCN Act 2022), particularly to forbid and prohibit the dispensing of drugs by persons who are not registered and duly licensed as pharmacists.
ACPN’s National chairman and National Secretary, Adewale Oladigbolu and Ezeh Ambrose the Group made the call in a letter to NHIA Director General, Prof. M.N. Sambo.
They claimed they were compelled by recent developments to update the NHIA about some paradigm shift in the practice of pharmacy most especially as it affects the operations of the NHIA, which expectedly regulates and control health insurance at federal, state and private levels:
“By virtue of government notice no. 108 after President Muhammadu Buhari signed a new Pharmacy Council of Nigeria Act 2022 (PCN Act 2022), the FG officially announced through Gazette no. 157 of August 30 2022, the coming into life of a new Act of Parliament (PCN Act 2022) which has been structured to revolutionize 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.
“From these express provisions of law reflected in the foregoing, the NHIA is respectfully expected to note that 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 State/Federal public sector levels must be registered by a Superintendent Pharmacist for inspection, registration and licensure by the PCN,”
They maintained that NHIA was 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 which 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.
“ACPN again courteously solicits the maximum collaboration and support of the NHIA to note with a sense of responsibility that the spirit of PCN Act 2022 both forbids and prohibits the dispensing of drugs by persons who are not registered and duly Licensed Pharmacists in Nigeria.
“We desire 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.”