Board to rein in illegal pharmacies

It will target distributors who are selling medicines without proper documentation.

Sunday February 7 2016

Pharmacy and Poisons Board Chief Executive Officer Kipkerich Koskei addresses the media at a past function. Mr Koskei said on February 6, 2016 that distributors who are caught selling drugs without proper licences will be arrested and taken to court, and will have their entire stock of drugs confiscated. FILE PHOTO | ANN KAMONI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Pharmacy and Poisons Board Chief Executive Officer Kipkerich Koskei addresses the media at a past function. Mr Koskei said on February 6, 2016 that distributors who are caught selling drugs without proper licences will be arrested and taken to court, and will have their entire stock of drugs confiscated. FILE PHOTO | ANN KAMONI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JACQUELINE KUBANIA
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The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (KPPB) has announced a countrywide crackdown on illegal pharmacies in an attempt to promote better health care.

KPPB Chief Executive Officer Kipkerich Koskei said Saturday that distributors who are caught selling drugs without proper licences will be arrested and taken to court, and will have their entire stock of drugs confiscated.

“We will petition the court to have the goods scrutinised for harmful or illegal medicines, which we will destroy. We are determined to press charges against all those at fault and to weed out all the quacks in the industry,” he said.

The board is responsible for regulating pharmacies and medicines in Kenya.

The crackdown will begin in Nairobi before being rolled out in the rest of the country.

All pharmacies must have an up to date licence which is prominently displayed on the wall of the premises, and the proprietors must have identity cards bearing their name and photos.

Licences and IDs are renewed every year. The public has been instructed to look out for both of these documents when buying medicines at pharmacies.

According to Koskei, informal settlements such as Kibera and Mukuru slums have the highest number of unregistered pharmacies.

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