State shuts down 84 illegal pharmacies in crackdown

Monday, September 27th, 2021 00:00 |
A pharmacist at work. Photo/FILE

Eighty four illegal pharmacies have been closed and 137 cartons of assorted medicines seized in Kisumu, Nyamira, Kisii, Homa Bay, Migori and Siaya counties.

In a crackdown conducted by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) inspectors to augment routine inspections that the board has been carrying out, 80 people have been arrested and arraigned since last week.

The operators of various pharmacies were charged with being in possession of part one  poisons contrary to Section 26 (1) of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act, carrying on the business of a pharmacist while not registered and carrying out the business of a pharmacist in premises not registered contrary to Section 23(1) of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act.

Deputy director, inspectorate and enforcement Dominic Kariuki regretted the proliferation of quacks in the sector putting the lives of Kenyans at risk. 

“Professionals who have been found engaging in these malpractices have been summoned for disciplinary action,” he said.

While advising members of the public to use health safety codes displayed in registered pharmacy outlets to verify legality of the premises, he instructed all pharmacy outlets with expired drugs to safely quarantine them and contact the regional inspectors of the board for safe disposal.

He revealed that the board has distributed minilabs to its regional offices for random sampling and testing of medicines in the market to ensure that medicines in the market are of good quality, safe and efficacious.

“PPB has trained health workers and all the stakeholders to identify and report poor quality medicines using the PPB poor quality medicines reporting tools,” he added. 

This comes even as the board chief executive officer Dr F. Siyoi urged pharmacists to help in countering widespread misinformation on Covid-19 and uptake of the vaccine by the public.

He said pharmacists carry with them trust, positive relationship, expertise and consistency, elements he maintained are key in the fight against the virus. 

“The role of pharmacists in the development of novel health interventions to support appropriate management of diseases cannot be ignored.

To help the country fight the prevailing pandemic, pharmacists must embrace trust and position relationships with the public for sustained promotion of a healthier society,” he said.

Speaking during celebrations to mark World Pharmacists’ Day at the weekend, Siyoi said prevention and management of the pandemic requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders.

The celebrations saw pharmacists celebrated across the world for their role in product development, manufacturing and improving access, safety, quality and efficacy to medical products and health technologies.

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