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Kenya warns over unsafe sex drugs on sale

Health & Science - By Ally Jamah | June 5th 2015 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

NAIROBI: The Pharmacy and Poisons Board has issued a public alert against Sh44 million sex-enhancing drugs believed to be circulating in the market illegally, after a court case seeking to block them was lost.

Going by brand name ‘Vega 100’, the drugs were allegedly released to the market unprocedurally from the Makadara Law Courts.

The Board considers the drugs, which are used to boost male sexual performance, to be unsafe since they were allegedly imported in the country illegally without passing through rigorous tests to confirm if they can be used safely by Kenyans.

The Board’s Registrar Kipkerich Kosgei, who issued the written alert, expressed alarm at the release of the drugs to the public even before the 14 days within which they were to file an appeal in the case had lapsed. This was after losing a long court battle to block the entry of the drugs.

“The public, health workers and establishments including chemists and pharmacies are requested to be on the lookout for the presence of any or all the listed batches of the drugs and advised not to purchase or stock,” said the alert issued yesterday.

The alert added: “Institutions/pharmaceutical outlets that have received the above batches are advised to quarantine the same and liaise with the Board through our hotline numbers. We don’t understand why they were released before we could appeal the court decision.”

The Board’s Senior Pharmaceutical Inspector Job Kandie said the sex drugs, whose active ingredient is Sildenafil Citrate, similar to the one found in Viagra; were seized at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in February last year from India.

“The drugs have not passed through the rigorous testing procedures that are required before they can be registered as substances effective and safe to use,” he said.

HEART ATTACKS

Kandie asserted that if they are consumed before their safety is confirmed, they may have serious consequences on the health including causing heart attacks.

Last month, Makadara Law Courts Senior Resident Magistrate Emily Nyongesa delivered a judgement that the Board had no case against Joshua Mutemi Maithya, who had been accused of illegally importing the drugs.

The judge also ruled that the drugs should be released to the accused, saying they were fit for human consumption. She rejected a request by the Board to have the drugs destroyed or transferred to their custody for safe keeping.

Last week, the Board secured High Court orders to have the drugs released to them for safe custody from the Makadara Law Court pending their appeal.

However, it emerged that court officials in Makadara had already released the drugs to the accused even before the appeal period had lapsed.

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