Bill for pharmacists’ body passes second reading

Mahmud said that the body, however, lacked the statutory power in form of an enabling Act to achieve its goals and objectives.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara

The body will have statutory powers to regulate the standard, skills and knowledge to be attained by persons seeking to practice as pharmaceutical technologists and pharmacy technicians in Nigeria.

Sponsored by Rep. Mohammed Mahmud (Niger-APC), it is entitled, “A bill for an act to establish the pharmaceutical technologists and pharmacy technicians regulatory board of Nigeria’’.

Leading debate on the bill, Mahmud explained that the National Association of Pharmaceutical Technologists and Pharmacy Technicians of Nigeria was currently the body that regulated the profession.

He said that the body, however, lacked the statutory power in form of an enabling Act to achieve its goals and objectives.

He said that the Federal High Court in Lagos on April 27, 2017, gave a ruling that the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria did not have the statutory mandate to regulate this crop of professionals.

Mahmud said that the legal decision hinged on the interpretation of the Pharmacists Council Act.

He added that the bill sought, among other things, to regulate the practice of the profession by issuing licenses to pharmaceutical technologists and pharmacy technicians.

The lawmaker said that the bill, when passed, would promote the highest standard of competence, practice and conduct among members of the profession.

“It will also ensure that safety standards are met and necessary facilities required in the practice of the profession are put in place,’’ he said.

He decried the infiltration of the profession by quacks, adding that a legislative enactment would go a long way to stabilize the practice.

“The passage of this bill will provide a certifying body for the profession in Nigeria.

“ It will make it easy for the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to supervise the sector well.’’

The lawmaker said that the bill would provide for the development of a comprehensive data bank of pharmaceutical technologists and pharmacy technicians practicing in the country.

Majority of the lawmakers spoke in favour of the bill, and it was unanimously adopted when put to a voice vote.

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