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Pharmacy board embarks on nationwide crackdown

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) has embarked on a 90 days countrywide crackdown against quackery and unregistered medical practitioners in the sector.

The Board contends the impromptu crackdowns and the inspection of health facilities that began last week are meant to  force total compliance with regulations governing health matters.

The  PPB  Chairman, Dr. Jackson Kioko said facilities that don’t meet required standards and those manned by people who lack the  requisite knowledge for handling and dispensing crucial prescription drugs would be targeted in the clampdown.

“I  can  assure wananchi that the countrywide inspection of illegal facilities will be intensified in the coming weeks and months in a bid to eliminate bogus pharmacists and unlicensed chemists,’ he said.

He went on ‘in this crucial exercise we are going to partner with the county governments in curbing the proliferation of quacks and illegal chemist shops in the crucial health sector

Dr. Kioko  who  is  also the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Health Professionals Oversight  Authority  was addressing the  press on Tuesday at the Mombasa Beach Hotel where the board is meeting stakeholders involved in the pharmaceutical industry and practice.

The medic observed that the unregistered premises were storing and displaying drugs in environments that are not conducive hence this compromised the potency, efficacy and integrity of drug products rendering them infective.

Flanked by board members and staff from the Mombasa region, Dr. Kioko said the practice of quacks running clinics and  chemists would not be entertained under his watch.

“Going forward the board would not tolerate engagement of quacks, operating beyond scope by license, illegal operation of unregistered premises and displaying items and storing drugs in unconducive environments,’ he said.

He  said these violations if left unchecked could expose patients to great danger.

The  Chairman noted that unauthorised drug retail outlets manned by unqualified personnel pose serious danger to the public health and safety.

Dr. Kioko disclosed that in 2018, 3,000 rogue pharmacists were arrested and 700 illegal drug outlets were shutdown in  an  operation mounted by the board across the 47 counties.

He  disclosed that the Board currently has regional presence in Nairobi, Mombasa, Embu and Nyeri and that plans are  underway to open up 14 new regional offices to make sure the functions of the board are carried out at the grassroots.

Dr. James  Owuor ,a senior inspector of drugs has advised the general public to be on the lookout for banners from the  board which has a health safety code that they can send an SMS to 21031 to verify the legitimacy of the facilities and the personnel manning them.

Dr. Owour  therefore, advised  the  public to  always insist on the registration status  of  the facilities by requesting for licenses from any pharmaceutical outlets to safeguard them from being served by quacks.

By  Hussein  Abdullahi

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