Regulator warns pharmaceutical wholesalers against supplying illegal outlets
Nairobi, December 5, 2019 – The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) has shut down 80 illegal chemists in Nairobi and Kajiado counties with a stern warning to wholesalers against supplying them with products without proper documentsation.
The targeted illegal chemists were identified in a mapping exercise carried out by the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, through the Office of the Regional Commissioner, Nairobi, Mr. Wilson Njega
According to the Mr. Julius Kaluai, the PPB Nairobi Regional Head, 48 owners of the illegal chemists have been arraigned in various courts within Nairobi and Kajiado counties and charged with various offences among them possession of poisons contrary to section 26 of the PPB Act, and carrying on business of a pharmacist while not registered among others.
The stocks of medicines for the culprits were seized and some of the suspects who pleaded guilty and were slapped with fines ranging between Ksh.50,000 and Ksh.200,000.
The list of the illegal premises in Nairobi was handed over to the Regional Commissioner and the County Commissioner Ms Flora Mworoa at a media briefing today at Nyayo House for enforcement of the closure.
Mr. Kaluai emphasized that the Government is now targeting wholesalers who are supplying illegal outlets without identifying the documentation of those purchasing drugs. “The wholesalers will be profiled and also prosecuted. We are using our inspectors who are cracking down on the illegal chemists and will be able to get invoices of those supplying them,” he noted.
The Board also issued a warning to absentee superintendents who leave licensed pharmacies to be run by unqualified personnel. “This has become a big challenge and we shall subject them to disciplinary proceedings at the PPB if they do not cooperate,” Mr. Kaluai said.
He added that the crackdown shall be intensified to include manufacturers and sellers of unregistered herbal medicines and cosmetic vendors who are selling cosmetics containing poisons.
The PPB has developed guidelines for good distribution practices, transportation of pharmaceuticals and also for safe management of pharmaceutical waste. The guidelines are available and all health practitioners are advised to familiarize with the provision of the guidelines, he advised.
He also emphasized on the need for the public to use the health safety code 21031 displayed in registered pharmacy outlets to verify legality of the premises they are buying medicines from.
The Regional Commissioner Mr. Wilson Njega said illegal pharmaceutical outlets have been posing a danger to public health and are posing a challenge to the government achievement of universal health coverage.
“Following the mapping of private health facilities conducted recently the government has a database of all pharmaceutical outlets in the country,” he said and added that the government has adopted a multi-agency approach and intelligence render of operations to ensure that all illegal pharmaceutical outlets in the country are closed down.
He noted that his office is ready to offer PPB any assistance required in their mission to rid the market of illegal pharmaceutical outlets arguing that so far in Nairobi alone in a few days they have closed down 62 premises.
“ We will ensure that the premises we shut down remain closed and no other one come in,” he said and warned the owners of illegal premises to close them down with immediate effect.
Most of the premises that were shut down in Nairobi were in Njiru area and Dagoretti.