Federal Hospital CEOs Face Allegations Of Corruption In Drug Procurement, PSN Urges Government Probe

 Daud Olatunji

In a damning revelation, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has called on the Federal Government to investigate allegations of corruption leveled against some Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Federal Health Institutions (FHIs). 

The startling claims emerged during the 96th annual national conference of the PSN, named ‘Jewel City 2023,’ held between October 30 and November 4 at the Gombe International Conference Centre, Bauchi Road, Gombe State.

The PSN’s communique, signed by President Prof. Cyril Usifoh and National Secretary Mr. Garfa Madehin, exposed a pattern of misconduct by certain FHIs’ CEOs.

 It alleged that these executives were involved in procuring drugs through proxies and diverting Drug Revolving Funds (DRF) into unofficial accounts not associated with their institutions.

The conference went further, calling for a special retreat to rejuvenate the Drug Revolving Funds. It proposed bringing together Heads of Departments of Pharmacy and CEOs from all FHIs. 

The PSN indicated its willingness to sponsor the retreat if the Federal Ministry of Health expressed interest in such collaboration.

Alarming statistics also surfaced during the conference, revealing that over two million unregistered drug sellers operate in the country, posing a significant threat to public health. 

The PSN expressed concern about 35 open markets and the prevalence of fake drugs, citing incidence rates ranging from 16 to 48 percent based on various national and international studies over the past 25 years.

Moreover, the PSN warned of a potential surge in the mortality rate within the health system, surpassing the all-time high of 10.8 percent recorded in 1998, if funding for the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria was neglected.

The communique highlighted the urgent need for proactiveness in addressing emerging diseases, including Lassa fever, Ebola, coronavirus, Monkeypox, Buruli ulcer, diphtheria, and others. 

It appealed to the Federal Government to allocate funds to research-based pharmacists in various pharmaceutical institutions. 

The PSN emphasized the pivotal role of pharmacists in achieving universal health coverage and urged support for research initiatives in drug discovery and production.

As these revelations unfold, the call for a thorough investigation into the alleged corruption within FHIs resonates, pointing to the broader implications for the health and well-being of the Nigerian populace.

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