KENYA – The Kenyan Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) has imposed fines to wholesalers dealing in pharmaceuticals who are selling medicines to unregistered and unlicensed pharmacies in the country.
For one to operate a pharmacy, they must be qualified either as a pharmaceutical technologist with a diploma or a Pharmacist with a Degree to avoid risking lives of residents.
The Judicial courts are imposing fines of not less than Sh60, 000(US$525) per charge with most courts charging more than Sh100, 000(US$825) in an effort to curb distribution of medicines to unlicensed pharmacies.
In addition, Quacks will part ways with more than Sh300, 000(US$2624) fines when slapped with three charges of unlawful possession of Part One Poison, operating an unregistered outlet and doing the work of a pharmacist while not registered as one.
PPB issued a warning to the wholesalers breaking the law as the board continues intensified crackdown on the rapidly growing number of unregistered pharmacies in the country even after giving a window period to regularize or close their premises.
The pharmacy board has issued 136 closure notices in Western Kenya and 54 notices in Nairobi during the simultaneous crackdown in Nairobi and Western Kenya which has led to the arrest of 58 people.
Out of the 58, 40 people were from Western Kenya while 18 were from Nairobi awaiting court judgement for noncompliance and violation of the Kenyan laws on pharmaceutical practices.
The inspectors have collected 134 cartons of assorted medicines from the outlets of an estimated value of Sh5.8million (US$51,000) which will be presented to court as exhibits and the court’s order on what to do with the commodities which were considered fit but were in the wrong hands.
Despite the board conducting a wholesale audit, some defiant people were still engaging in the unlawful practice which puts the lives of Kenyans at risk.
PPB Coordinator for Good Distribution Practices Julius Kaluai pointed out that essentially the lawless wholesaler was vulnerable to malpractice lawsuits since they involved other people to commit a crime.
“If pharmacies are denied medicines because of lack of licenses or are not registered then the problem we are dealing with will end and we have sampled a few wholesalers that we are going to firmly deal with,” stated Julius Kaluai.
He further noted that most of pharmacies that were issued closure notices have changed their business patterns which is a plus to the board.
Moreover, efforts of the Poisons Board got a boost after the Judiciary acknowledged that the public health sensitization had impact on unregistered outlets and increased fines imposed on the culprits deterred them from continuing with the businesses.
The board is working towards rooting out quacks in collaboration with the Ministry of Health plans to increase the number of inspectors in the field.
Kaluai also warned against selling medicated creams in cosmetic shops stating that creams were supposed to be sold in pharmacies and dispensed by a medical doctor specifically a dermatologist through a prescription.
The Pharmacy and Poisons board further notified all pharmacies that all licenses issued by the Pharmacies and Poisons Board expire on 31st of December every year.
The board has set a window period of renewal of the licenses from 1st of November of that particular year to 31st December when their current license is supposed to expire.
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