68 arrested for illegally hawking medicine, operating unlicenced premises

68 arrested for illegally hawking medicine, operating unlicenced premises

68 people were arrested and over 114 pharmaceutical outlets in Western Region shut down in the latest crackdown by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.

A statement from the Board said the operation targeted unlicenced premises, pilfered government drugs, illegal medicine hawkers and illegal sale of restricted medicines in the open-air markets, general shops and kiosks within the region.

“The Board, through surveillance and intelligence gathering had profiled hot spots within Western region with high levels of non-compliance to Good Distribution Practices of Medical products and health technologies. These were the areas that were targeted for the joint operation by PPB inspectors, national government administrative organs and the police Service which began on 17th May 2021. Western region comprises the counties of Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma and Vihiga,” the statement reads.

Deputy director of inspectorate Dominic Kariuki said in the statement that registered pharmacists and enrolled pharmaceutical technologists involved in pharmaceutical malpractices have been flagged for disciplinary process.

At least 133 cartons of assorted medicines were seized during the raid including government-supplied medicines found at a private chemist at Mayoni market, Kakamega County.

Dr. Kariuki has called on the Judiciary to ensure prosecution of those arrested.

“PPB calls upon the judiciary to dispense deterrent sanctions as provided under the revised pharmacy and poisons Act 2019 to the persons found guilty of contravening the provisions of the Cap 244 of the laws of Kenya,” he said.

Additionally, the Board said both public and private healthcare facilities and those who handle pharmaceuticals should apply online through website www.pharmacyboardkenya.org for disposal of any pharmaceutical waste that they may have or get in touch with PPB regional officers.

Members of public have also been advised to report any suspected case of quacks operating within their areas as they are a danger to public health.

“Registered pharmacy outlets can be verified by sending the code displayed in the outlets to 21031 and it is free of charge,” the Board said.

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