COMMUNIQUE OF THE 38TH ANNUAL NATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE OF THE ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS OF NIGERIA (ACPN)
Theme: TACKLING THE MENACE OF DRUG ABUSE IN NIGERIA: A DISRUPTIVE INNOVATIVE APPROACH
The 38th Annual National Scientific Conference of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), was held at the Afficient Event Centre, Nasarawa GRA, Kano, Kano State, Nigeria, from Sunday, 30th June to Saturday, 6th July 2019 under the theme, "Tackling the Menace of Drug Abuse In Nigeria: A Disruptive Innovative Approach".
The Conference was graced by eminent Nigerians including the Special Guest of Honour, His Excellency. Dr. (Alhaji) Abdullahi Umar Ganduje OFR, His Royal Highness, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi the Emir of Kano, the Sarkin Kano Mohammed Sanusi II, the Chairman of the occasion Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd.) Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on Elimintion of Drug Abuse (PACEDA).
Other dignitaries in attendance included Chairman/CEO Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Mohammed Mustapha Abdalla (rtd ), Registrar Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) Pharm. N. A. E Mohammed EPSN, Dr. Monica Hemben Eimunjeze Director Registration and Regulation Affairs, NAFDAC who represented the Director General NAFDAC, President Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Pharm. (Mazi) Sam Ohuabunwa OFR, FPSN, Past President PSN Pharm. Olumide Akintayo FPSN and an assemblage of seasoned speaker and panelists.
The Keynote Address was delivered by the Immediate Past President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Pharm. (Alhaji)Ahmed Yakasai, FPSN.
After a careful evaluation of the presentations at the scientific conference, delegates resolved as follows:
- Conference agreed that Curbing drug abuse requires Community Stakeholders, Policymakers, Leaders, NGOs, Victims, Pharmacists and Regulators must come together to provide solution to drug dependency.
Conference took a position that Prevention is the best approach to tackling the menace of Drug and Substance Abuse thus; collaborative efforts of all stakeholder should aim at striking a balance between Drug Demand Reduction and Drug Supply reduction. Interventions should be structured to proffer remedial and sustainable measures to combat the continued spread of the altruist and stop its devastating effect on the Nation’s welfare and, National Security on an accelerated manner.
- Conference called on the National Assembly to urgently amend the NDLEA Act to increase its engagement of registered Pharmacists, the globally acclaimed drug experts, in the day-to-day management of this very sensitive Drug Regulatory Agency.
Specifically, Conference observed that the ND LEA needs a Directorate of Consumer Enlightenment and Protection, headed by a Pharmacist due to the requisite in-depth knowledge of drugs to champion unprecedented advocacy in consumerism, which generate a resolve to shun Drug Abuse by the larger society.
Conference further posited that towards Drug Abuse Reduction, the Enabling Act of Parliament (NDLEA) must therefore be tinkered with, to establish sophisticated, comfortable, well equipped and adequately staffed Rehabilitation Centers, preferably within the in Geo-Political Zones of the Country. This conforms with Intonational drug conventions that drug addicts be treated as medical cases, not to stigmatize them, but bring than closer to find out the cause of their drug addiction and ameliorate such problems, to preserve their destinies for National profiting
- Conference reasoned based on the principle that the locality of drug and their availability predisposes to Drug abuse that all Seaports and Airports need a better and greater Level of surveillance to check the obvious unrestricted access to all categories of drugs.
A need arises to ensure Drug Supply Reduction by monitoring drug flow pastern in the distribution from the manufacturers and importers in formalized audit trail procedures by Pharmaceutical Inspectors.
Flowing from the above, conference called for the urgent implementation of the National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDG) which has been on hold for too long by indecisive actions of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH).
- Conference clamored for the signing of the PCN Bill by His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari, GCFR for the benefit of consumers of health because it will ensure:
- Efficient and effective regulatory control of practitioners that stock and handle drugs as well as the facilities they run by the PCN and its Pharmaceutical inspectors.
- Streamlining and identification of all cadres of practitioners from retailers, wholesalers, distributors, importers, manufacturers and PPMVL holders.
- The newly introduced Satellite Pharmacy Concept will ensure that pharmaceutical care gets to the doorsteps of Nigerians as these services will be provided to consumers through professional linkage thus boosting Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP).
Conference further solicited the inculcation of the Hub and spoke model, which observes Global best practices, enriching the Health care delivery system from Primary to Tertiary Levels with Pharmacists as leaders of the pharmaceutical space and supervisors of all other healthcare providers that handle drugs.
- Conference mandated the NEC of ACPN to liaise with His Excellency the Vice – President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, GCON to jump-start the NDDG which still appears comatose by utilizing the template of the National Economic Council which comprises all the State Governors and is steered by the Vice President to understand the workings of the envisaged coordinated wholesale centers (CWC) which are positioned to replace the very obnoxious drug markets which are presently the proven sources of the sales and distribution of Falsified Medicines (Fake Drugs), expired drugs and other abuse substances. Conference drew attention of the Federal Government to the security challenges of a drug distribution chain laden with the fake drug syndrome and increasing menace of drug abuse. Conference stressed urgent advocacy in this regard as it reasoned this was the only way to catalyze a golden era in the value chain of drug distribution in Nigeria
- Conference strongly urged the NEC in the months ahead, to work towards delivering in the below reflected areas. This priority areas include: -
- A labeling Initiative for Community Pharmacists to distinguish professional handling with regards to appropriate counselling and instruction.
- Access to genuine Drugs as a right of Nigerian Citizens in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission.
- Conference reminded the general public that, when drugs of any sort are used outside the recommended indication, does or duration, the consumer is taking a conscious risk towards self-poisoning. Thus, no drug of any description should be taken without the intervention of a Pharmacist directly or indirectly through delegated or personally supervised assistants.
- Conference specially charged the Nigerian Community of International Development Partners (IPs) to ensure that all interventions that involve the distribution of drugs or trainings in procedures of drug administration, include Pharmacists, as drug experts for leadership, monitoring, supervision, preservation of the Drug distribution Chain, documentation of the drugs for addition to National records, Sustainability of interventions as well as preservation of skill and training methodology for long term benefit to the Nigerian populace.
Conference counseled that any other approach is counterproductive and in conflict with National interest.
- Conference totally condemned and rejected the proposed Tiering of the Proprietary and Patent Medicine dealers Accreditation and Licensure by the FMOH because of the palpable potential complexity of mismanagement by these vendors whose role is basically to cater for dearth of pharmaceutical needs especially in rural areas. The Tiering agenda as contemplated will aggravate the chaotic drug distribution situation in the country because of the challenges of poor regulatory control which remains a present -day reality.
- Conference called on Government to enforce relevant laws and ban items which worsen the problem of drug and substance abuse that we have on our hands such as:
- Indian Hemp which is smoked brazenly in the open
- Sachets of alcohol and bitters which contain as high as 40% alcohol, which are hawked in our motor parks and street corners.
Conference in similar spirit implored Government to subject all illegal dealers and traffickers as well as legal dealers, sponsoring unauthorized drug use, to the full weight of the law through their prosecution and severe punishment to serve as deterrent and discourage the pursuit of economic gain at the expense National productivity.
- Conference reiterated the need to satisfy International Convention of pain relief as a fundamental human right. Conference therefore calls on the Federal Government to increase the availability of certain critical life-saving Narcotics such as morphine, which the federal Ministry of Health has the exclusive right to import which has been in too low supply, recently.
- Pharmacists under the aegis of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) encouraged the NEC to commence the process of exploring the desirability of challenging in court, the operational modalities of the implementation of the NHIS which continues to fail particularly in the areas of dispensing of drugs which ordinarily should fall under the purview of Registered Pharmacists but is conducted mostly by untrained hands in the NHIS since 2006 in various accredited health facilities especially in the private sector. Conference insisted that the court option had become necessary because all attempt for successful dialogue in over a decade were fruitless.
- Conference endorsed the concept of Trans-Generational Community Pharmacy Agenda of the current leadership of the Association, which is about collaboration among practitioners to ensure sustainability and continuity of Community Pharmacy business beyond the promoters.
- Conference applauded and encouraged all arms of Government to emulate, Governor Ganduje’s novel policy of a pre-requisite drug testing for all political appointees, so that people who assume leadership positions have no trace of Drug Abuse, thus discouraging this negative trend Finally, conference conveyed its depth of appreciation to His Excellency Gov. Ganduje, the Emir of Kano HRM Lamido Sanusi and the good people of Kano State for the unprecedented hospitality extended to delegates at the 38th Annual National Conference.
- At the end of the Conference, the following were elected to steer the ship of the ACPN for the next one year:
- Pharm. Adekola O. Samuel, MAW - National Chairman
- Pharm. (Rev)Daniel Femi Ajayi - National Vice Chairman
- Pharm. Abosede Idown - National Secretary
- Pharm. Wuyep Nankap - National Assistant Secretary
- Pharm. Ambrose Sunday Ezeh - National Treasurer
- Pharm. Omokhafe Ashore - National Financial Secretary
- Pharm. Sunday Ike - National Publicity Secretary
- Pharm. (Dr.) Albert Alkali Kelong FPSN, FPC
- Pharm. Immediate Past National Chairman
Pharm. Samuel Adekolo, MAW
Pharm. (Mrs.) Abosede Idowu