The Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria has inaugurated a disciplinary tribunal with the arraignment of three pharmacists accused of falling short of the conduct and ethics of the profession, Punch Newspaper reports.
The pharmacists were arraigned before the disciplinary committee shortly after its inauguration on Friday in Abuja.
The accused persons, Success Onaji, Chigozie Sunday and Chinedum Okwum, were said to be pharmaceutical representatives of drugs manufacturing companies and allegedly failed to remit various sums of money realised from the sale of drugs released to them.
The Chairman, Governing Council, PCN, Prof Ahmed Mora, warned pharmacists in the country against unwholesome practices and warned that anyone caught in breach of professional ethics would face the music.
While explaining that the tribunal was not to handle criminal cases but professional misconduct, he said the consequences of the offence could be barring the offenders from the pharmaceutical business.
Mora stated, “A tribunal has been inaugurated and has started hearing. We have started with three pharmacists and I assure you that before the end of the year, we are going to sit again to make a pronouncement on the sentence on one case and continue with the trial of the others.”
“We do not expect pharmacists to fall short of the code of conduct and ethics of the profession.”
According to him, the cases being handled by the tribunal have to do with fraud as some pharmacists are not remitting the proceeds of drugs given to them after periodic requests by the pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesalers.
He added, “These premises have what we call pharmaceutical representatives or medical representatives. Usually, they are given large consignments of pharmaceutical products to market.”
“So, in all these cases, it appears that these drugs have been sold, but the proceeds have not been remitted to the manufacturers or wholesalers, prompting petitions to the PCN.”
Mora also explained why the tribunal was unable to sit for six years, saying the action was not deliberate.
He stated, “The inability of the tribunal to sit for six years was not deliberate; it was because there was no governing council in place.”
“The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria is not a toothless bulldog; pharmacists that are falling short of the conduct or the code of ethics of the profession will certainly be sanctioned.”
The Registrar/Chief Executive, PCN, Elijah Mohammed, said 22 universities in the country were running pharmacy courses.