Young pharmacists in Nigeria have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, PCN, over the conduct of the licensing exams.
The second-cycle of the Pre-registration Examination for Pharmacists, PEP for 2018 was written on Saturday, October 20 with bitter complaints over the lack of proper welfare by the PCN.
Having held the first cycle of the exam for 2018 in March, improvements were expected as young pharmacists converged to write exams to have their full license.
In a tweet by a pharmacist, and retweeted by many other young pharmacists, he said;
What is PCN doing with over 17Million naira raised biannually via PEP?
YPs spend about 50k to do this Sham.
YPs are mostly Corps Members and Unemployed.
YPs are exposed to travel risk for this scam.
Scrap PEP now. @channelstv @tvcnewsng https://t.co/oTqIbuom9n
Pharmacists queried PCN on the importance of the examination having gone through rigorous academic programmes in Nigeria and a compulsory one year of interning at PCN-approved organisations.
Young pharmacists, despite being inducted by the council(PCN) and interned at approved organisations have been subjected to pay N20,000 to write an exam to measure their level of competence.
In 2017, Young Pharmacists, YPs, a group of former PANS leaders across the federation complained bitterly about moves made by the PCN, and allegedly aimed at young pharmacists in the country.
“It might interest you to know that the PCN has been scheming on how to over-regulate the profession of pharmacy in Nigeria with special interest of strangulation on the young pharmacists. You would recall that not too long ago, the council came up with a pauperizing policy of five years post-graduation experience before one would be allowed to practice as a community pharmacist. It took the timely intervention of several pressure groups and well meaning individuals to stop the policy from being implemented.”
“As if they are not done with their anti-pharmacy policies, PCN has once again begun a self-indicting exercise by believing that a post internship examination would help them to achieve robust competence for the young pharmacists in Nigeria. And this illusion is coming at a time when most pharmacy graduates are yet to secure internship placements after years of being inducted into the profession due to the rather reactionary and often indifferent nature of the council towards pro-pharmacy issues in the country.
“The indifference paid to young pharmacists’ issues in this country is very worrisome and discouraging. We have been battling with the dearth of internship sites and even expected that by now, PCN being a government agency would have, in conjunction with PSN NATIONAL and State leaderships commenced the expansion of the internship sites to include more government agencies such as NDLEA, SON, Federal & State ministries of health, NESREA, and private settings like some private hospitals and getting more community pharmacies approved for the scheme with a regularized salary scheme,” the group said in 2017.
The idea of a biannual Post-internship examinations for young pharmacists has not seated well with the young professionals as they call for its scrapping and on the federal government to come to their aid.