Pharmacists are asking President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and ensure new officials are gazetted to run the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.
The regulator hasn’t had a board since members’ terms expired seven months ago, a situation pharmacists say has compromised regulation of the sector.
According to the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK), crooked importers with powerful connections are taking advantage of lax regulation to flood the country with fake and sub-standard medicine.
“We are asking the President to take up the matter. We also ask the Parliamentary Committee on Health to pile pressure on Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia to put in place a new board as a matter of urgency,” PSK President Paul Mwaniki said.
Dr Mwaniki on Friday said the Health CS had failed to appoint a board despite names of nominees having been submitted by PSK and other nominating agencies to his office six months ago.
But Macharia is on record saying he had not appointed a new board because he had rejected names forwarded by PSK, since they were not subjected to an elective process as required.
But in a statement to newsrooms Friday, Mwaniki said: “Lack of a board in the institution means there are no independent pharmacists as experts to check the quality of medicines being registered and imported. That means the quality of medicine being imported for the last seven months cannot be guaranteed. We therefore demand immediate gazettement of the board within the next seven days failure to which PSK will go court to compel the CS to act.”
Mwaniki said the industry has been bereft of stringent regulation, leading to infiltration by quarks, questionable accreditation of practitioners and importation of drugs outside the existing registration and import guidelines.