Nairobi, Kenya – June 5, 2023 – In a resolute move to protect public health and maintain regulatory integrity, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) of Kenya, the country’s Drug Regulatory Authority, has launched a targeted crackdown on illegal distribution outlets operating within the Nyanza and Nairobi regions. Commencing on May 29th, the operation aims to combat the presence of illegal chemists, herbal medicine stores, and cosmetic shops that unlawfully stock medicament-containing preparations disguised as cosmetics.
Julius Kaluai, Head of Good Distribution Practices at PPB, emphasized the importance of the crackdown, stating, “Our primary goal is to ensure a safe healthcare environment for all Kenyans. By taking decisive action against these illegal outlets, we are protecting consumers from potentially harmful products.”
Working in collaboration with various government agencies, including the judiciary, Kenya Police service, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), and the Police, the PPB’s concerted efforts have yielded significant results. Multiple arrests have been made, with a total of seventy (70) individuals apprehended and now facing prosecution in courts within the Nyanza and Nairobi regions.
Kaluai highlighted the dedication and collaboration of these entities, stating, “We greatly appreciate the unwavering partnership of the judiciary, Kenya Police service, ODPP, and the Police. Together, we have taken a strong stance against offenders, ensuring that justice is served and public health is protected.”
In addition to the arrests, the PPB’s regulatory inspectors have conducted over 200 inspections to enforce strict compliance with regulations. Kaluai emphasized the importance of these inspections, saying, “Through rigorous inspections, we leave no stone unturned in our mission to create a transparent and accountable healthcare system. Our aim is to foster a culture of compliance and safeguard public health.”
The successful outcome of the crackdown has been attributed to the collaborative efforts of all involved stakeholders. Kaluai added, “The achievements we have made in this operation reflect our collective commitment to upholding the law and creating a safe healthcare environment. By working together, we send a strong message that illegal practices will not be tolerated.”
The PPB cautions individuals against tampering with closure notices, as it is an offense under investigation that will result in regulatory sanctions. Kaluai emphasized the importance of lawfulness, stating, “Upholding the principles of law is crucial in establishing a transparent and accountable healthcare system that prioritizes the well-being of every individual.”
Furthermore, the PPB urges public and private healthcare facilities, as well as those responsible for handling pharmaceuticals, to make use of its online services for proper disposal of pharmaceutical waste. Kaluai stated, “We encourage all healthcare facilities and pharmaceutical handlers to utilize our online services for the responsible disposal of pharmaceutical waste. By doing so, we contribute to a sustainable and environmentally conscious healthcare system.”
Regulatory Authority Takes Action: Closure Notices Posted as Illegal Distribution Outlets Face Consequences