Young pharmacists threaten to drag the Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN) to court over exploitation, imposition of PEP exams.

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By: Adebisi Yusuff Adebayo

[Abuja]–A group of young pharmacists under the aegis of Coalition of Ex-PANS Presidents has threatened to drag the Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria (PCN) to court if the council does not rescind its decision to proceed with the conduct of the much criticized Pre-Registration Examination (PEP) for young pharmacists.

The coalition which is made up of former PANS leaders from across the nation declared that the PEP EXAM was inconsistent with the regulatory responsibilities of PCN. They noted among other things that even though they would never kick against any plan of the council to enhance the profession but that this proposed post internship examination was one of the few policies the council had taken without adequate consultations.

“It might interest you to know that the PCN has been scheming on how to over-regulate the profession of pharmacy in Nigeria with special interest of strangulation on the young pharmacists. You would recall that not too long ago, the council came up with a pauperizing policy of five years post-graduation experience before one would be allowed to practice as a community pharmacist. It took the timely intervention of several pressure groups and well meaning individuals to stop the policy from being implemented.”

“As if they are not done with their anti-pharmacy policies, PCN has once again begun a self-indicting exercise by believing that a post internship examination would help them to achieve robust competence for the young pharmacists in Nigeria. And this illusion is coming at a time when most pharmacy graduates are yet to secure internship placements after years of being inducted into the profession due to the rather reactionary and often indifferent nature of the council towards pro-pharmacy issues in the country.

“The indifference paid to young pharmacists’ issues in this country is very worrisome and discouraging. We have been battling with the dearth of internship sites and even expected that by now, PCN being a government agency would have, in conjunction with PSN NATIONAL and State leaderships commenced the expansion of the internship sites to include more government agencies such as NDLEA, SON, Federal & State ministries of health, NESREA, and private settings like some private hospitals and getting more community pharmacies approved for the scheme with a regularized salary scheme.”

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