Dozens of chemists shut down in pharmacy board crackdown
A total of 137 illegal chemists have been shut down by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board in an ongoing crackdown targeting South Rift region.
The outlets were identified following a mapping exercise carried out by the South Rift regional commissioner in conjunction with PPB officers after identifying illegal chemists from the Board's online database.
The the Board's Head of Good Distribution Practices and Ports of Entry, Dr Dominic Kariuki, disclosed in Nakuru on Friday morning that 45 cases have been taken to court and the accused persons charged with various offenses ranging from possession of part 1 poisons contrary to section 26(1) of the pharmacy and poisons act.
"The accused will also face charges of carrying out business of a pharmacists and pharmaceutical technologist in premises not registered among others," he added.
During the crackdown suspected government drugs were found in a private chemist in Molo Town and the owner arrested and charged with being in possession of government stocks.
"I am appealing to the judiciary to enhance fines charged on those found guilty of malpractice to act as a deterrent to those who engage in illegal activities thus posing danger to the public," Kariuki said.
The accused persons who pleaded guilty were fined between Sh5,000 to Sh20,000 and those who did not were given court bonds of up to Sh300,000.
He said details of non-compliant outlets have been shared with the regional police commander for enforcement and possible closure.
"The presence of unmarked chemists is a key pointer to illegal pharmaceutical outlets.
"I am appealing to the members of the public to report unnamed premises to PPB regional inspectors for immediate action to be taken," he said.
Wholesalers supplying illegal chemists with drugs including other pharmaceutical commodities, and absentee superintendents, were also put on notice during the raids.
"These ones will also be summoned for disciplinary action," he added.
Kariuki directed all pharmacy outlets and hospitals with expired drugs, to quarantine them and contact the Board for safe disposal.
“Those interested to engage in pharmacy business must notify the Board three months in advance for advise on suitability of the premises among other requirements,” he advised.
The Board, he added has distributed minilabs to its regional offices for random sampling and testing of medicines in the market to ensure that they are of good quality, safe and efficacious.
Members of the public are advised to use the health safety codes SMS 21031 displayed in registered pharmacy outlets to verify legality of the premises, he emphasized.