The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) has proposed a set of rules and regulations that will govern the online pharmacy service.
Pharmacy and Poisons Board Western Region Head, Dr Onesmus Kilonzo, said that the previous rules do not capture the health services offered online and that they want to raise the standards of their rules by harmonizing with the international standards.
“With the advancement in technology, we saw it necessary to come-up with new sets of rules and regulations, that will govern the sector,” said Onesmus.
Kilonzo pointed out that online pharmacy is growing so fast and a good number of the population consume online services.
He said that consultation, selling of medicines and drugs, prescription, counselling and therapeutic management are among the services offered online by professionals.
The secretary Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK), Western Region, Dr Tom Sindani, suggested that online advertisement should be licensed by the PPB in order to agree with the proposed laws.
“Anyone making pharmaceutical advertisements online, should get clearance from PPB,” he emphasized.
Sindani explained that there are medicines which are over the counter and others are prescription only medicines. Prescription only medicines have strict laws that guard their use so that they are not misused.
He added that if the advertisements are not keenly crafted, it can lead to misuse of the drugs by the public.
Sindani said that much emphasis should be put on transportation of medication, clinical trials and pharmaceutical waste management.
The Chair of PSK Western Region, Dr George Matimbai, complained that there are no clear ways of managing medical waste. He advised that the expired and unused drugs should be dispensed appropriately.
“Expired and unused medicines are thrown away and they end up in the water we drink and contaminate the environment and services we consume which can breed very resistant strains of bacterium, that may not be treatable and curable in the near future,” he cautioned.
He urged the public to be pharmacovigilant and submit the expired and unused medicines to the nearest medical facility and also report any unexpected side effects of a drug.
The stakeholders present included the medical health personnel from training institutions, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), National Environment Authority (NEMA) and the County Government Health and other officials.
By Margaret Andeso