The Campaign for Democracy (CD) has criticized Federal Government for its proposed ban of sales of drugs in open market in the country.
The Federal Government on Thursday announced that from June 30, 2014, drugs would no longer be sold in the open market throughout the country.
Dede Uzor A. Uzor, Chairman, CD South-East, criticized the government move in a press conference held on Friday in Awka, Anambra State.
Uzor noted that the call was uncalled for since it would affect the life-style and livelihood of over 100, 000 drugs traders and importers as well as its economic multiplier effect which touches about 10 million Nigerians.
“About 85 per cent of drug traders and importers have had their drugs registered with relevant government agencies like NAFDAC and other related bodies.
“And these bodies are closely monitoring the activities and movement of these drugs produced or imported by traders in the country.
“Most of them had been certified by various agencies and bodies; while the importers have been authorized by various government agencies and bodies.
“The various centres of State Mega Drug Distribution Centres (SMDDCs) have limited spaces and shops to caretaker for the drug and medication needs of the growing population of the country.
“Presently, the country also lacked adequate pharmaceutical man-power to man the proposed Federal Government system of distribution.
“While the present drug markets dotting the country as well as over 100,000 drug traders and importers would be put out of business, which would compound the present unemployment challenge in the country.
“It is also clear that the ratio of fake and sub-standard Drugs in the country had continued to drop from about 16 per cent 10 years ago and to about 4 per cent presently; with even traders and market unions collaborating with NAFDAC to further reduce the ratio,’’ he said.
The chairman blamed the Federal Government for the continuous porous borders of the country; where smugglers have field day importing unchecked and adulterated drug products and other essential products into the country.
“CD is calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Minister of Health for not having a clear vision and incompetence in handling matters of serious economic-cum-health implication.
“If tomorrow the SMDDCs goes on strike, then the whole country would be held in ransom and thrown into anarchy,’’ he said.