Over 70 arrested for operating illegal chemists in Nairobi, South Rift

The board has stepped up the fight against substandard, falsely labelled and falsified drugs

In Summary

•The scope of the operation targets profiled hotspot counties of Nakuru, Kericho, Narok, Bomet, Laikipia, Samburu and Nairobi.

•The team led by the head of good distribution practices Dr Julius Kaluai saw 140 cartons of assorted drugs found in the illegal premises seized

An ongoing joint operation in the South Rift and Nairobi regions by officials from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and the National Police Service on illegal chemists, medicine hawkers and herbal medicines
An ongoing joint operation in the South Rift and Nairobi regions by officials from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and the National Police Service on illegal chemists, medicine hawkers and herbal medicines
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

At least 77 people have been arrested in an ongoing joint operation in the South Rift and Nairobi regions.

The 77 were arrested by officials from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and the National Police Service for operating illegal chemists 

The operation that begun last Sunday targets illegal pharmacy, medicine hawkers, clinics, herbal medicine stores and cosmetic shops stocking medicament containing preparations disguised as cosmetics.

The scope of the operation targeted Nakuru, Kericho, Narok, Bomet, Laikipia, Samburu and Nairobi.

The team led by the head of good distribution practices Julius Kaluai saw 140 cartons of assorted drugs seized.

“Our key concern is the emergence of illegal chemists within target zones owned by qualified pharmaceutical personnel,” Kaluai said.

“There is also a rising trend of medical clinics running illegal pharmacies that are also manned by unqualified pharmaceutical personnel. The practitioners violating the law shall be investigated and prosecuted."

A closed outlet in an ongoing joint operation in the South Rift and Nairobi regions by officials from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and the National Police Service on illegal chemists, medicine hawkers and herbal medicines
A closed outlet in an ongoing joint operation in the South Rift and Nairobi regions by officials from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and the National Police Service on illegal chemists, medicine hawkers and herbal medicines
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

Those arrested will be charged with carrying on the business of a pharmacist in premises not registered by the PPB.

They were also charged with Operating the business of a pharmacist without the presence of a registered pharmacist in the premises.

“The seized medicines will be disposed of as guided through the issued court orders and in accordance with the PPB guidelines on disposal of pharmaceutical waste,” he said.

For one to operate a pharmacy they must be qualified either as a pharmaceutical technologist with a diploma or a Pharmacist with a Degree, otherwise they will be considered quacks risking lives of residents and will be liable for prosecution.

This comes after the pharmacists under the umbrella of Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya called for stringent guidelines to control the buying and of distribution of controlled drugs before it becomes a national disaster.

Currently, those found in illegal possession of controlled drugs are subjected to a fine of Sh5,000.

An ongoing joint operation in the South Rift and Nairobi regions by officials from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and the National Police Service on illegal chemists, medicine hawkers and herbal medicines
An ongoing joint operation in the South Rift and Nairobi regions by officials from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and the National Police Service on illegal chemists, medicine hawkers and herbal medicines
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

The board has stepped up the fight against substandard, falsely labelled and falsified drugs to protect consumers from the dangers posed.

It has an elaborate drug registration system that ensures that only safe, quality and efficacious products are registered.

The drugs are analysed by laboratories to ensure they comply with the label claims.

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