71 illegal pharmacies, herbal clinics shut in crackdown

Written By: Margaret Kalekye

PPB Drug Inspector and a police officer during the crackdown

71 illegal pharmacies and herbal clinics have been closed in an intensified crackdown by Pharmacy and Poisons Board in Nairobi and Kajiado counties.

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The operation that led to the arrest of 49 people targets pharmacy outlets that had been identified during routine inspections to have flouted regulations.

171 cartons of assorted medicines were seized and are under the custody of PPB. The seized medicines will be analysed and disposed of as per PPB guidelines on disposal of pharmaceutical waste

“A total of forty-nine (49) persons have been arrested and taken to court. The Pharmacy and Poisons Board inspectors carried out total seizure of all medicines found in the illegal premises and the personnel found operating them were arrested. A total of one hundred and seventy-one (171) cartons of assorted medicines were seized and are under the custody of PPB” said Dr. Dominic Kariuki, Deputy Director, Inspectorate.

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The list of closed premises has been shared with county administration and Kenya police service for enforcement of closure.

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Assorted herbal medicines

The culprits face different charges which include; possession of part 1 poisons while not being an authorized seller of poisons, carrying on the business of a pharmacist while not registered, without a registered pharmaceutical technologist and a pharmacist in the premises.

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The board is further calling for stiffer penalties for suspects who are given a cash bail of between Ksh.500,000 to Ksh.150,000 and fines of up to Ksh.50,000.

“The Pharmacy and Poisons Board wishes to request the courts to enhance fines for those found guilty, in line with the fines in the amended Cap 244, to act as a deterrent” appealed Kariuki in a statement.

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During the crackdown, PPB officials obtained invoices, receipts and other documents from the illegal premises, which they will use to identify the licensed wholesalers supplying the illegal premises.

The owners of those wholesalers will be prosecuted and their licenses revoked.

Members of the public are advised to use health safety codes displayed in registered pharmacy outlets to verify the legality of the premises by sending a free SMS to 21031.

 

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