Gov’t shuts down 30 pharmacies in Nairobi in ongoing crackdown

In a raid on Thursday in Nairobi, twenty-four persons who were found to be running pharmacies without permits were taken into custody.

Thirty pharmacists were shut down by the authorities during the operation, which was carried out in tandem by the Kenya Police Service and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.

In accordance with PPB policies and procedures, the medications that the authorities also took from the property will be destroyed.

The operation’s goal, according to PPB inspector Tom Mwangi, who spearheaded the raid, is to eliminate all unauthorized pharmacies in the nation as well as unlicensed pharmacists.

Since that illicit pharmacies don’t adhere to PPB standards, Mwangi claimed that they represent a risk to public health.

He mentioned that those who are detained will face legal charges.

“Since we started the operation last week on Monday, so far we have been able to arrest 24 persons and managed to close 30 pharmaceutical outlets,” Mwangi said.

The official expressed concern that such outlets were at times used as avenues to sell illegal drugs such as narcotics.

“You will find there will be the sale of medicines without prescription which promotes even the sale of narcotics and psychotropic substances without prescriptions,” he noted.

According to Mwangi, the operation which started in late January will be continuous noting that the crackdown is further being undertaken in all the other 46 counties.

“We want to tell the public that this operation will go on continuously to ensure that we rid the country of these illegal pharmaceutical outlets,” Mwangi said.

PPB head of enforcement and surveillance Julius Kaluai said regional coordinators are in charge of county operations.

He said the crackdown was informed by a Presidential directive that ordered respective bodies to get rid of the sale and consumption of illicit drugs and alcohol in the country.

Dr Kaluai’s comments come in the wake of PPB’s enactment of guidelines that aim to regulate the activities of pharmaceutical sales representatives in the country.

The guidelines will ensure that pharmaceutical sales representatives are qualified to perform their tasks and act ethically in promoting medicines and other health products and technologies to healthcare professionals.

The PPB had raised concern that some of the pharmacies issued with closure notices during the last inspection have defied the order to close down.

The board has been stepping up the fight against substandard, falsely labelled and falsified drugs to protect consumers from the dangers posed

Last week, the Cabinet was informed that since the Interior Ministry started implementing measures against illicit brews and narcotics, 2,393 non-compliant premises, 359 pharmacies and chemists and 452 agro vets have been closed.

Noting the increased cases of addiction to alcohol and drugs, the Cabinet directed the Ministry of Health to prepare a framework for rehabilitation wards in all Level 5 hospitals.

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