THE Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), is excited at some of the major successes recorded recently in legal battles with some health practitioners saying these are major achievements towards its drive to regulate the practice of Pharmacy in the country.
The PCN noted in a statement that it recorded victory in a lawsuit filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association, NVMA, which had challenged the powers of Council to regulate and control pharmacy education, training and practice in all aspects and ramifications as set out by Act 92 of 1991 Cap. P17, LFN 2004.
According to the suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/66/2008 filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association argued that the mandate of the PCN should be restricted to manufacturing, distribution, sale, and dispensing of human drugs contending that only Veterinary Surgeons should have the authority and rights to handle, sell and dispense drugs, vaccines and animal biologicals.
However, on March 24 2017, the Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Dimgba Court dismissed the suit in favour of PCN.
Justice Dimgba held that the provisions of the Animal Diseases (Control) Act does not impinge on the powers of PCN in respect of registration of premises where animal drugs are kept and therefore an attempt to draw a distinction between human drugs and animal drugs is a misguided one.
The Court’s verdict, has put to rest the regulatory power of PCN in respect of Veterinary drugs.
In another development, a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt equally struck out a suit brought before it by Dr. Grace Achilike, a medical doctor, against PCN and others over the PCN enforcement activities whereby her unregistered premises named Prize Pharmaceuticals was sealed by the PCN.
In Suit No PHC/1102/2016 DR GRACE ACHILIKE v PCN & 5 ors, the Plaintiff claimed that the exercise of powers by the PCN amounted to breach of her fundamental Human Right to the sales and dispensing of drugs.
But on March 15, 2017, the case was struck out with a rejection of the contentious issue.
Similarly, in SUIT NO. FHC/OS/CS/12/2016 between Oyedeji Ola-Egbon Ent. Limited & Ors v PCN & ors, the Plaintiffs sued the PCN and others over the sealing and evacuation of prescription drugs from their premises which were being sold and dispensed without a Superintendent Pharmacist in charge.
According to the PCN, the body secured victory in the lawsuit in a ruling dated March 15, 2017 when the court accepted the submission of PCN but said the process filed by the Plaintiffs were incompetent and thus, accordingly struck out the case in favour of PCN.