'PUTTING PUBLIC AT RISK'

Pharmacy outfit wants unqualified technicians barred

Pharmaceutical Society filed initial case blocking the board from issuing licenses to unqualified technicians

In Summary

• The Kenya Pharmaceutical Association has over 700 members, whom it says will be affected by the issuance of practising licenses to unqualified technicians.

• They say the public will suffer harm due to the handling of the drugs by persons who are inadequately skilled.

Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya president Paul Mwaniki throws expired medicine into a furnace at Envirosafe Limited in Athi River, November 2017
UNQUALIFIED PHARMACISTS: Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya president Paul Mwaniki throws expired medicine into a furnace at Envirosafe Limited in Athi River, November 2017
Image: GEORGE OWITI

The Kenya Pharmaceutical Association is seeking to join a case challenging a decision to stop issuance of practising and premises licenses to unqualified pharmaceutical technicians.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya filed the initial case seeking to stop the Pharmacy and Poisons Board from issuing any premises licenses to untrained pharmaceutical technicians.

But yesterday, the association with more than 700 members filed an application to be enjoined in the case. It argues that it has immense interest because the case affects its members. 

“The party holds an interest in the licensing of pharmaceutical technologists. Being the oldest association, they are seeking to be enjoined into this suit because any decision arising from the case will affect its members,” court documents read.

In the case, the Pharmaceutical Society has challenged the decision by the board to stop pharmaceutical technologists, who are the society's members, from practising.

The said regulation commences with the issuance of practising and premises licenses and ensuring the pharmacy is done under the superintendent of pharmacists towards the attainment of the highest standards of health to the public.

The society argues that Section 23 of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act says it shall not be lawful for any person to practise pharmacy except in premises registered in accordance with the section.

“If practising licenses are issued to the said unqualified persons, the public risks suffering irreparable harm due to the handling of the drugs, medicines and poisons by persons who are inadequately skilled or trained,” the society argued.

It is their view that the credibility of pharmacy and appropriate quality has been left to speculation as to the likely danger of consumers.

The poisons board is acting against the Pharmacy and Poisons Act as well as the Constitution by such contravention of the law, they said.