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Fake and expired drugs seized

Friday July 31 2009

Peter Adoki (right), Pharmacy and Poisons Board Drugs Inspector in the North Rift and Nicholas Kibet, Pharmaceutical Inspector inspect drugs at a chemist in Eldoret town where they impounded both counterfeit and expired drugs on July 30, 2009. PHOTO/JARED NYATAYA

Peter Adoki (right), Pharmacy and Poisons Board Drugs Inspector in the North Rift and Nicholas Kibet, Pharmaceutical Inspector inspect drugs at a chemist in Eldoret town where they impounded both counterfeit and expired drugs on July 30, 2009. PHOTO/JARED NYATAYA  

By BARNABAS BII

Counterfeit and expired drugs were seized in Kenya's Eldoret Town on Friday and a suspect arrested in a crackdown by the Pharmacy and Poison Board.

Also confiscated in the raid on private pharmacies were drugs meant for public health facilities.

Some of the seized drugs had expired almost 10 years ago while others had been banned but were being displayed on the shelves.

“Most of the impounded drugs are fast-moving as they are meant for such ailment as hypertension and diabetes,” said Mr Peter Adoki, a drug inspector in charge of North Rift region.

Among the confiscated drugs include tranquillisers with libels written in foreign languages.

It took the intervention of police officers to raid one chemist after the proprietor became rowdy.

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“As a registered pharmacist, I comply with the regulations of the board. Some of the seized drugs are genuine,” said the proprietor.

He claimed he had set aside the expired and contraband drugs ready for destruction.

The inspectors found some of the illegal drugs on shelves and from the store.

“Most of the unsuspecting patients have been purchasing either expired or counterfeit drugs which is harmful to their health,” Mr Adoki said.

The government drugs which were impounded include contraceptive pills which are meant to be distributed by public health facilities.

The drugs which were packed in several cartons were taken to Eldoret Police Station.

The suspect would be arraigned in court to face charges.

Mr Adoki said the board was in the process of setting up a website that would enable patients to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit drugs.

“Patients, especially those suffering from hypertension, diabetes, ulcers among others, would be able to know the right drugs after setting up the website,” Mr Adoki explained.

He said the crackdown on illegal drugs would go on and cautioned patients to be more cautious while buying drugs.

Interviewed wananchi called on the government to vet chemists and monitor activities of those registered.

They demanded labels showing expiry dates should be written in English for them to establish expired and counterfeit drugs.