HEALTHCARE

46 people arrested in a crackdown on illegal pharmacies in Central region

120 cartons of medicine were also seized in the crackdown.

In Summary

•The suspects were arrested for running unregistered outlets.

•They closed 86 premises in the crackdown in Embu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi and Isiolo.

Pharmacy and Poisons Board senior inspector Julius Kaluai said the 46 were arrested on various offences.
Pharmacy and Poisons Board senior inspector Julius Kaluai said the 46 were arrested on various offences.
Image: Dennis Dibondo

Forty-six people have been arrested, and 120 cartons of medicine seized during a crackdown targetting drug distribution outlets in the Mt Kenya region.

They include chemists, clinics, herbal medicine stores and cosmetic shops.

Pharmacy and Poisons Board senior inspector Julius Kaluai said the forty-six individuals were arrested for various offences.

“Their offences include running unregistered outlets, and some of them are unqualified to run pharmacies. We did not find issues related to wrong medication,” he said.

Kaluai spoke on Monday at the Meru County commissioner’s office. He said some premises were closed after word went round that they will be conducting the raid.

“But we put notice stickers on the unregistered outlets after verifying if they exist in our system,” Kaluai said.

He said 86 premises have been closed so far in the crackdown in Embu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi and Isiolo.

Kaluai said the culprits will be prosecuted, and the drugs will be disposed of if they are in bad condition or donated to hospitals if they are in good condition.

He said there is a rising number of quacks operating pharmacies countrywide.

“This is a serious field where only professionals are allowed to operate, not the unqualified people... Those who have certificates are not allowed to operate chemists," Kaluai said.

“We also checked if the licenses have expired or if the new premises are registered,” he said.

Kaluai said that county governments should also partner with the board to dispose of expired medicines.

"If they fail to do so, we can equally arrest those who are responsible and take them to court," he said.

Pharmacy and Poisons Board senior inspector Julius Kaluai said the 46 were arrested on various offences.
Pharmacy and Poisons Board senior inspector Julius Kaluai said the 46 were arrested on various offences.
Image: Dennis Dibondo