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Police arrest 40 suspects for operating illegal pharmacies in north eastern, Nairobi

Sunday April 17, 2022

Police have arrested 40 people and booked them for prosecution in various courts within North Eastern and Nairobi regions on suspicion of operating illegal pharmacies in the country.

Their arrest came following a joint operation by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) and police which began on April 10 to crackdown on unlawful pharmaceutical practices in the country.

Kaluai Julius, the Head of Inspections, Surveillance and Enforcement said the operation seeks to enhance surveillance along the Ethiopia and Somalia borders to combat suspected smuggling of Heath Products and technologies, particularly in Mandera and Moyale border points.

“We are also carrying out stakeholder engagement and sensitization on PPB mandate focusing on the key players within North Eastern region among them Police, Imams, county governments, county assemblies, professional bodies, and the public the sensitization program further aims at banishing the emerging trend of abuse and misuse of controlled and prescription medicines especially by Khat users to achieve a “Kabarai impact,” Kaluai said.

The PPB is also conducting an audit of the controlled medicines and prescription medicine documentation in line with the pharmacy regulations.

“We have noted that most unregulated chemists within North Eastern region operate while disguised as clinics. They are mainly owned and managed by healthcare workers within the county government. Such officers shall be sanctioned through the respective county governments to procure valid practice licenses and to regularize their private practice in line with Good Distribution Practices for pharmaceuticals,” Kaluai stated.

He added that they had commenced investigations within Dadaab refugee camp to identify and avert any pharmaceutical malpractices and illegalities suspected to be happening within the camp.

The regulatory operation within the two regions is part of the affirmative effort to establish a sustainable regulatory impact within the country.

The Drug Regulatory Authority warned that they will continue to pursue all illegal pharmaceutical practitioners and take action against them if found culpable.

Kenya’s North Eastern region shares a porous border with Somalia which ahs made it easier for smugglers to conduct their illicit trade while evading security agencies and other border enforcement agencies.


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