Crackdown in Kiambu, Muranga, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua and Embu
NYERI, November 22, 2019 – The Pharmacy and Poisons Board inspectors in conjunction with the National Police Service closed down a total of 110 illegal chemists, seized stocks, arrested the owners who were arraigned in court and charged with various offenses.
Seventy one (71) cases have been booked for prosecution while 22 of the accused persons pleaded guilty and were given fines ranging from Ksh.50,000 to Ksh.200,000.
Those who did not plead not guilty were given a court bond of Ksh.200,000 awaiting prosecution processes.
The crackdown was carried out in Central region to augment the routine inspections that are carried out by regional inspectors.
The targeted illegal chemists were identified in a mapping exercise carried out through the Central Regional Commissioner in conjunction with PPB including Non-compliant outlets which were identified from the PPB online database, Dr Dominic Kariuki, Head of Good Distribution Practices and Ports of Entry said.
Speaking during a media briefing today, Dr. Kariuki said that during the operation suspected government drugs were found in a pharmacy in Kianyaga town, Kirinyaga county and two persons arrested and charged with possession of government stores.
Those arrested were charged with various offences namely;
• Possession of part 1 poisons contrary to section 26(1) of the
pharmacy and poisons act.
• Carrying on the business of a pharmacist/pharmaceutical technologist while not registered as a pharmacist/ pharmaceutical technologist contrary to section 19(1a) of the pharmacy and poisons act.
• Carrying the business of a pharmacist/ pharmaceutical technologist in premises not registered contrary to section 23(1) of the pharmacy and poisons act.
All the seized drugs were handed over to the Pharmacy and poisons board for safe disposal.
Dr. Kariuki thanked the Judiciary and the office of Director of Public Prosecution for enhancing the fines charged on those found guilty of malpractices.
“These enhanced fines will act as a deterrent for those who engage in illegal activities as they are a danger to public health,” he said .
The details of all the non-compliant outlets have been shared with the regional police commander for enforcement of closure.
He also noted that PPB inspectors face the challenge of wholesalers
supplying to illegal chemists and absentee superintendents who leave licensed pharmacies to be run by unqualified personnel.
“Those professionals who have been identified engaging in these illegalities have been summoned for necessary disciplinary actions,” he added.
Pharmacy and Poisons Board recently launched Guidelines for Good distribution Practices, Guidelines for transportation of Pharmaceuticals and Guidelines for safe disposal of pharmaceutical waste.
These guidelines are available to the public on www.pharmacyboardkenya.org.
Dr. Kariuki further advised all those who wish to engage in the business of pharmacy to engage PPB for proper advice on the suitability of the location.
He also urged all pharmacy outlets and hospitals with expired drugs to safely quarantine them and get in touch with the regional inspectors for safe disposal.
In addition, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board has distributed minilabs to its regional offices for random sampling and testing of medicines in the market to ensure that medicines in the Kenyan market are of good quality, safe and efficacious.
Members of the public are advised to use health safety codes displayed in registered pharmacy outlets to verify legality of the premises by sending an SMS to 21031 and it is free of charge.
The counties covered during the crackdown were Kiambu, Muranga, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua and parts of Embu county.