926 people arrested in crackdown on illegal pharmacies

Tuesday June 10 2014

 A customer buying a  drug  at a pharmacy. Health institutions in the county are facing an acute shortage of drugs and food. FILE PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI |

A customer buying a drug at a pharmacy. Health institutions in the county are facing an acute shortage of drugs and food. FILE PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI |  

By MIKE MWANIKI

Police and inspectors from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board has arrested 926 people found selling drugs in unregistered pharmacies in an ongoing countrywide crackdown.

The Board’s Inspectorate, Surveillance and Enforcement director, Dr Mohamed Adan said the arrests were made in the last one month.

He said the swoop is targeting quacks selling drugs in illegal outlets which have not been licensed by the Board.

“We want members of the public to access quality and efficacious drugs by buying medicines from registered pharmacists who are running pharmacies and chemists which are licenced by the Board.

“Bona fide pharmacists are supposed to display valid identification cards bearing their pictures and licenses for their premises which are issued by the Board. The IDs and licenses are usually renewed annually by the Board,” Dr Adan said.

He said the team of police and inspectors had arrested 30 people in Kayole estate in Nairobi on Monday. Those arrested are expected to appear in court.

Dr Adan identified the densely populated Dandora, Umoja and Mathare estates in Nairobi’s Eastlands as some of the areas with the highest number of illegal pharmacies.

“In the last two weeks, we have mobilised our inspectors from all regions who have been mapping out and identifying the illegal premises before carrying out surprise crackdowns,” Dr Adan added.