26 pharmacy operators arrested in Kayole
26 pharmacy operators and one unlicensed herbalist were arrested on Saturday in during a Kenya Medical and Poison Board (KMPB) crackdown in Kayole.
The operators were arrested on the grounds that they had no legal documents authorising their operations; while others were found selling government drugs that are meant for state-run pharmacies.
Mr. Samuel Kerama who is the head of KMPB’s department of goods distribution said that samples of the confiscated drugs will be taken to the government chemists for inspection.
He, however, called on the public to be more vigilant while buying medicine from pharmacies, asking them to report any illegal practitioners.
Susan Naliaka, a community health volunteer at Kayole 2 sub-district hospital, decried the sale of a high number of government drugs, mostly HIV drugs in the area.
This is the first raid that has been carried out this year, and Kerama says that many more will be carried out across the country.
In August last year, stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry raised alarm over the increase of counterfeit drugs in the Kenyan market.
The stakeholders said that close to 40 percent of pharmaceutical and beauty products were not genuine, with most fake products having negative effects on consumers.
According to Peter Barker from the UK based Goodlife Pharmacy and Beauty, there was need for improved regulations to control products inflow into the market.
Mr. Barker said some unscrupulous traders were making and rebranding various products with names of established industries and selling them to unsuspecting consumers.
Barker spoke when the organization opened the first ultra-modern Pharmacy, Health and Beauty retail store at the Buffalo mall in Naivasha last year.
He lauded efforts by the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) to combat counterfeits saying the organization needed support to perform its duties better.
“In the West, cases of counterfeits are minimal because we have an established system where consumers are enlightened,” he said.
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