By Phil Okose Onitsha
Pharmacist Ikechukwu Onyechi, has expressed satisfaction that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, sustained the tempo of the war it waged against fake/adulterated drugs despite the death of its Director General, late Dr Dora Akunyili.
Expressing satisfaction during the opening of one of the branches of Alpha Pharmacies which he is the Proprietor, along Old market road Onitsha, Anambra state, last Friday, Onyechi recalled that when Akunyili started the war with NAFDAC, they wanted to kill her.
“You know our sister Dora Akunyili, when she started with this NAFDAC, they almost killed her, but never, even after she died. Lot of people attempted to deal in fake drugs but with the help of other national forces, the battle continues but some of them are repenting.”
According to him, “it is the wickedness in the society that is accountable for fake drugs, am concerned but not worried, because what you cannot help, we have to learn to tolerate and pray God to deal with it, our Lord God says the righteous will in everything pray and make supplication and handover that concern to Him, that’s what I thought.”
He however admitted that, “Fake drugs have gone beyond Nigeria not Anambra State, I don’t accept is an Anambra business. Fake drugs is a multi billion businesses world wide, when we go to international conferences, fake drugs are discussed in Brazil, Europe, Iran, Spain, and from all other places, India, China among others, so is not a Nigerian thing not to talk of Anambra, so don’t demonize Anambra State”.
Also on the sell of drugs in open market, he said that, “Akunyili suggested it should be phased out, she had discussed about that in those days. Akunyili was at the fore front trying to phase it out”.
According to him with the government and other pharmacists’ synergy the issue of control to medicine would be possible.
Asked on why he chose Onitsha as regional headquarters of the Alpha Pharmacy he said thart it was born out of the need for think-home philosophy, Aku rue uno.
“This is my own move to that press for Igbo, aku rue uno, we have pharmacy practices and businesses in lagos, where we started 35 years ego and in Abuja, Enugu, Portharcourt, few places.
We started a small one that is two years back in Onitsha Shoprite, that is still not the type of what to do. We give more of essential services to those present places. So what we expect is an improved quality of life for people because our motto on mission and vision is mainly to provide critical care, special services and equipment to the health care community and also the public” he stated further.
Earlier in his speech while commending Onyechi for siting a branch of his establishmnent in Onitsha, Chief John Oguejiofor, recalled that, “Alpha pharmacy was inaugurated way back in 1982, and at Lagos where they have their head office, here is Regional office, the first coming across the Niger”.
“Alpha pharmacy has a shop at shop-rite, and this is the head office for the eastern region. The man, Onyechi, Alpha pharmacy, is my age grade, we grew up together in one village in Abatete called Nsugwu Abatete, he was a very hardworking man, he is a Chief in the pharmacy industry in Nigeria.”
“What I have for him is progress continues, is a thing of joy for me to be part of this occasion today. When we were starting it, buying this land, doing negotiation, I was considering the place small but you can see is not small, is a very big place and money made it so, money and ideas.”
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