How open market drugs merchandise destroy lives – Experts
The upsurge in drug hawking in public places— streets, commercial buses, motor parks, and marketplaces, among others, has been generating lots of concern, as experts say it poses a serious threat to the health of the populace.
Medical professionals have explained that drugs sold through unregistered outlets by non-pharmaceutical professionals have been linked to terrible health conditions, including failure of such organs as kidney, liver, and lungs. Oftentimes, they even lead to individuals’ death due to wrong medications, dosages, as well as consumption of expired, falsified, and substandard medicines by unsuspecting consumers.
Not only do drug hawkers display medicines in an unhygienic environment, but they also sell prescription medicines, such as antibiotics, strong painkillers, multivitamins, antimalarial, medicines for diarrhoea and common body pain, among others.
Similarly, they prescribe medicines, recommended dosages, and offer general body checkups, which most times have negative effects, leading to severe health conditions.
Such was the case of Francis, who narrated his experience to The Guardian after buying malaria drugs from a hawker.
He said: “I bought a malaria drug from a woman that hawked medicine along the road on my way back from my sister’s place. After taking it, I stayed outside for fresh air, as there was no electricity. Immediately I returned to my room, I started gasping for breath. My body became light and I was shaking as if I had not eaten for two days. At that moment, it was past 11 pm. I felt like dying but I struggled to come out to seek help.
“When my neighbour, who lives in the backyard, saw my state, she was scared and thought the worst would happen. I begged her to give me food, but I was only able to eat very little. I returned to my room and lied on the bed, expecting the worst. I never knew I would make it through the night.”
Chima Eze was, however, lucky that he did not experience any side effects after taking some so-called malaria drug. The medicine he bought at Oshodi was just ineffective. So, he went to the hospital for proper treatment.
“I bought the drug at Oshodi from those roadside sellers,” he said. “I told them how I was feeling and they mixed several drugs for me, saying the symptoms were that of malaria. I took the drugs, but they didn’t work. My condition kept deteriorating until I went to the hospital, where I was given proper treatment.