Nairobi Police: 40 suspects arrested for operating illegal pharmacies in North Eastern

Nairobi Police: 40 suspects arrested for operating illegal pharmacies in North Eastern

On suspicion of operating illicit pharmacies in the country, police have detained 40 persons and charged them in several courts in the North Eastern and Nairobi areas.

Their arrest happened as a result of a joint investigation launched by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) and the police on April 10 to combat illegal pharmaceutical practices across the country.

The operation aims to improve surveillance along the Ethiopian and Somalia borders to prevent alleged smuggling of health products and technologies, according to Kaluai Julius, the Head of Inspections, Surveillance, and Enforcement.

“We are also conducting stakeholder engagement and sensitization on the PPB mandate, focusing on key players in the North Eastern region, such as police, imams, county governments, county assemblies, professional bodies, and the general public. The sensitization program also aims to eradicate the emerging trend of abuse and misuse of controlled and prescription medicines, particularly by Khat users, to achieve a “Kabarai impact,” according to Kaluai.

In accordance with pharmacy laws, the PPB is also conducting an audit of controlled drugs and prescription medicine paperwork.

“We’ve seen that the majority of unlicensed chemists in the North Eastern region operate as clinics.” They are mostly owned and administered by county government healthcare workers. Such officers will be sanctioned by their local county governments in order to obtain valid practice licenses and to regularize their private practice in accordance with Good Distribution Practices for pharmaceuticals,” Kaluai explained.

He went on to say that they have begun investigations within the Dadaab refugee camp to identify and prevent any potential pharmaceutical malpractices and illegalities.

The regulatory operation in the two regions is part of the country’s positive endeavor to develop a long-term regulatory influence.

The Drug Regulatory Authority has issued a warning that it will continue to investigate any illicit pharmaceutical practitioners and will take action against them if they are proven guilty.

Kenya’s North Eastern region shares a porous border with Somalia, making it simpler for smugglers to conduct their illegal business while avoiding security and other border enforcement officials.

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