The Lagos State Task Force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods, said on Sunday that it had sealed about 30 illegal patent medicine stores in the Ajah-Lekki area of the state.
A statement in Lagos by the Lagos State Ministry of Health said that the state government was worried about the dangers posed by illegal drug hawkers.
It quoted Dr Yewande Adesina, the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Public Health, as saying that their nefarious activities needed to be urgently curtailed.
The statement alerted members of the public to the risks and dangers of purchasing drugs from hawkers.
“The shops were sealed for offences ranging from sales of drugs without licence from the regulatory authorities, to failure to relocate from a market area/adherence to the mandated distance between a patent medicine shop and the market place, among others.
“The drug distribution system in Lagos will get worse if the activities of illegal drug operators are allowed to continue unchecked,” the statement quoted Adesina as saying.
It also said that the Special Adviser said that the government would do all it can to stop the inherent dangers associated with the sale of drugs through unauthorised outlets.
The statement also assured the people that the state government was committed to streamlining the drug distribution system in the state to enhance public safety.
It cited the provision of the pharmaceutical laws which prescribed that pharmaceutical premises cannot be located in motor parks or an environment where commercial activities are, and are growing very closely together.
The statement noted that any pharmaceutical premises surrounded or covered completely by a growing market or standing close to it, shall relocate to another suitable location, two years after formal notification to do so.
It, therefore, advised all intending pharmacy operators and patent medicine vendors to liaise with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria and the Directorate of Pharmaceutical Services, to get a permit.
The statement added that those interested in the importation, distribution and sales of drugs should get their premises licenced by the appropriate authorities.