The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) has closed down a total of 110 chemists in Central region and some parts of Embu County.
The Board inspectors in conjunction with the National Police Service carried out the crackdown to augment routine inspection by regional inspectors.
In a press briefing at the Central Regional Commissioner’s boardroom in Nyeri town Monday, the Poisons Board head of good distribution practices and ports of entry Dr. Dominic Kariuki said non-compliant clinics were closed down, stocks seized and operators arraigned in various courts.
Dr. Kariuki disclosed that one pharmacy at Kianyaga town, Kirinyaga County was found with suspected government drugs, adding that two suspects were arrested and charged with possession of government stores.
“Suspected government drugs were found in a pharmacy in Kianyaga town. Two suspects were arrested and charged in connection with the matter,” he said.
Dr. Kariuki said that those not conforming to the board’s standards were charged with possession of part one poisons contrary to section 26 (1) of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act.
Other offences the suspects faced included, carrying on the business of a pharmacist without registration contrary to Section 19 (1a) of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act and operating in unregistered premises contrary to Section 23 (1) of the same Act.
He said 71 cases have been booked for prosecution adding that 22 had pleaded guilty and ordered to paying fines ranging from Sh50,000 to Sh200,000.
Kariuki disclosed those who pleaded not guilty were released on a Sh 200,000 bond awaiting the prosecution process.
At the same time, he thanked the Judiciary and the office of DPP for enhancing fines charged on those found guilty of malpractices.
The medic said PPB recently launched guidelines for good distribution practices, for transportation of pharmaceuticals and for safe disposal of pharmaceutical waste.
He directed all pharmacy outlets and hospitals with expired drugs to safely quarantine them and get in touch with regional inspectors of PPB for safe disposal.
Dr. Kariuki urged members of the public to use health safety codes displayed in registered pharmacy outlets to verify legality of the premises and use SMS code 21031 with is free of charge for any clarification.
By Mwangi Gaitha