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
“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
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.