Come January, 2019, all open drug markets in Nigeria will be shut down as Federal Government will declare them illegal.
The Federal Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole made this known in Aba, Abia State while inaugurating Coordinated Wholesale Centre (CWC).
According to Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), the Minister said that one of the major challenges in the use of medicines in the country was inadequate drug distribution system which has led to poor product handling, difficulty in product trafficking for statistical purpose and for recall, circulation of substandard products, difficulty in audit trail and destruction of professional practice.
Explaining further, the registrar of PCN, Pharm. Elijah Mohammed said CWC was a concept within the National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDG) set up to cater for those who are in the drug market, adding that it would help sanitize drug distribution in the country.
"Open drug markets," he explained,"Are the hub of major drug supply and drug problems in the country."
He disclosed that four major open drug markets in Nigeria that are of concern to the Federal Government are the Idumota Drug Market, Onitsha overhead Bridge, Anambra State; Ariaria Market, Aba, Abia State and Sabon Gari Market, Kano State. The Minister was said to have inspected CWCs in Idumota, Onitsha and Aba and would soon inspect that of Kano.
Pharm.Mohammed allayed the fears of the consumers  by assuring that CWC would provide effective regulatory activities and also ensure good pharmaceutical service delivery in the country.
"CWC is a purpose built infrastructure that will cater for a lot of things  such as storage condition, practice environment, security and also in terms of regulatory activities.
" This will entail control over the efficacy of the drugs that are coming into Nigeria and those being made available for consumption for Nigerians. "