Crackdown on unlicensed pharmacies continues – April 1, 2022
Crackdown on unlicensed pharmacies continues in lower Eastern and Nairobi
Machakos April 1, 2022 – In its effort to tame irregular pharmaceutical practices in the country the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) is currently conducting a joint regulatory operation in Lower Eastern Kenya and Nairobi region in partnership with the National Police Service.
The operation that commenced on 28th March 2022 has seen a complete seizure of at least 113 cartons of assorted Medical Products and Health Technologies (HPTs) that were found in the illegal premises.
Head of Enforcement and Surveillance, Kaluai Julius confirmed on Friday that a total of 70 persons have been arrested and registered for prosecution in various courts within Lower Eastern and Nairobi regions.
“The seized medicines will be analyzed and disposed as guided through the issued court orders and in accordance with the PPB guidelines and operational Standard Operating Procedures on disposal of pharmaceutical waste,” Kaluai said.
The targeted HPT distribution outlets includes illegal chemists, medicine hawkers, clinics, herbal medicine stores and cosmetic shops stocking medicament containing preparations disguised as cosmetics.
The Pharmacy and Poisons Board is National Drug Regulatory Authority in the Ministry of Health, established under the Pharmacy and Poisons Act Cap 244 Laws of Kenya to regulate the practice of pharmacy and ensure safety, quality and efficacy of Medical Products and Health Technologies.
Some of the charges preferred to those found in violation includes possession of part I poisons while not being an authorized seller of poisons contrary to the Pharmacy and Poisons Act, Cap. 244 laws of Kenya.
The special drive by the Board to tame irregular pharmaceutical practices in the country is also focusing on stakeholder engagement and sensitization of key players involved in the criminal justice systems on its mandate.
Besides the crackdown the Board is also conducting an audit of the controlled medicines and prescription medicine documentation in line with the Pharmacy regulations and execution of warrants of arrest relating to Pharma crimes.
These warrants were issued by various courts under the specified jurisdiction following absconding of court obligations by the suspects who were charged with the various pharmacy related offences, the head of good distribution practices said.
The crackdown also aims to enforce the previously issued closure notices that were meted out during joint crackdowns and routine Pharmaceutical regulatory inspections.
Kaluai noted that of concern is the emergence of illegal chemists within Mlolongo and Kangundo road areas. “Some clinics were also found running illegal pharmacies run by unqualified pharmaceutical personnel,” he stated.