Patent Medicine Vendors in Rural Areas of Lagos Nigeria: Compliance with Regulatory Guidelines and Implications for Malaria Control
Purpose: To determine the compliance of patent medicine vendors (PMVs) in rural areas of Lagos State, Nigeria with set guidelines to regulate their practice and its implications for malaria control.
Methods: A baseline cross-sectional study was conducted as part of an intervention study in two rural local government areas (LGAs) of Lagos State Nigeria. One hundred and eighty PMVs were randomly selected and interviewed using structured questionnaire. In addition, an observational checklist was used to monitor the drug shops for compliance with regulatory guidelines. Indicators of compliance used include proportion of PMVs with valid practicing license and proportion of shops with duly registered anti-malaria drugs.
Results: Most 148 (82.2 %) of the respondents were shop owners with 170 (94.4 %) aged . 21 years (the minimum age required by law) and a mean of 30.9 } 8 years (range 16 - 67years). Only two (1.1 %) PMVs had a valid annual practicing licence and only three (1.7 %) of the drug shops had specified signposts. The shops stocked various kinds of anti-malaria drugs including those that are no longer recommended. All the sampled drugs were duly registered with NAFDAC and within expiry dates.
Conclusion: There was poor compliance with regulatory guidelines. A strict enforcement of the guidelines by the regulatory agency is recommended to ensure that only licensed persons sell appropriate anti-malaria drugs.
Keywords: Patent medicine vendors, Compliance, Guidelines, Malaria, ACTs.