The enactment of the park and pay policy by the Plateau state House of Assembly, in northcentral Nigeria, is resulting to death of patients who seeks to purchase drug prescriptions from pharmaceutical shops, says a group under the aegis of Association of Community Pharmacists (APCN).
APCN stated this yesterday while on a courtesy visit to the Speaker Plateau state House of Assembly, Hon. Joshua Madaki.
Speaking on behalf of the group, the Chairman, Chief Lawrence Ekwebelem, said the implementation of the law affects patient’s access to their medicine.
“Community pharmacy practice is more a social health service than a mere business venture: the parking space in front of the pharmacies are emergency zones, similar to an ambulance bay, meant for patients who may urgently need to access the pharmacies to purchase their drugs prescriptions for their treatment and obstructing the access to a pharmacy could have dire consequences for a patient.
“Imagine a scenario of an emergency where lifesaving medications need to be procured and the patient’s care giver drives to the pharmacy and does not get a parking space, the fate of this patient is better imagined than experienced”.
Ekwebelem added that thousands of Plateau citizens face the avoidable danger of worsening their health conditions or even die as a result of difficulty in accessing their medicines due to obstruction of parking access in front of the pharmacies occasioned by the park and pay policy.
“The policy will also result in increasing the cost of medicines beyond the reach of majority of our people who are already overburdened by the economic challenges our country face”, he said.
Responding, the Speaker said the law was to see to it that cars parked at public places must attract a fee aimed at boosting the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Madaki however said the House may consider exempting Pharmaceutical premises from the park and pay policy passed into law by the 8th Assembly.
He explained that premises such as pharmacies are considered to be essential and emergency service providers, hence the House will look into the law to amend it.
“Even though the policy is to enhance the state’s income, essential service providers will be considered to save humanity”, he said.