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86 illegal pharmacies shut down

 Dr Dominic Kariuki.

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) has shut down 86 unlicensed pharmacies in Western Kenya.

Inspectors from the board seized poor quality drugs from the pharmacies.

 Smuggled government drugs were also found in three private pharmacies in the crackdown that started on Monday.

According to Dominic Kariuki, the officer Incharge of Surveillance at the Board, the drugs are believed to have been stolen from health facilities in Kakamega County.

“All those who were found selling government drugs were arrested and have already been charged,” said Dr Kariuki.

He also revealed that some of the suspects had pleaded guilty and were slapped with fines ranging between Sh20, 000 and Sh90, 000.

Kariuki said that the board has pinned notices on the doors of the shut pharmacies, to notify the public on why they were shut. 

“Copies of the pharmacies' closure forms have been handed to the local police commanders. They will remain closed until they meet the laid down regulations,” said Kariuki.

He also noted that some licensed pharmacies employ unqualified personnel therefore putting the lives of Kenyans in danger.

Dr Kariuki also added that the board intends to summon owners of the various pharmacies before its disciplinary committee and if found guilty, they will be fined and have their licenses revoked.

“If you are not a trained pharmacist and not registered as a pharmacist, it’s illegal to engage in the business of selling drugs since you are endangering the lives of Kenyans. It’s also unlawful to open up a pharmacy in premises that are not registered by the board,” said Kariuki.

 “Members of the public are advised to use health safety codes displayed in registered pharmacy outlets to verify legality of the premises. The toll free Sms code is 21031.All outlets with expired drugs have been directed to dispose them off safely,” Dr Kariuki said.

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