30 Pharmacists nabbed by poisons board in Garissa

The pharmaceutical and poisons board drug inspectors in Garissa have arrested 20 suspects and closed down 30 presumes for operating illegal pharmacies in a sting operation to rid the town of quacks in the drugs.

This was revealed by Dr Jecinta Wasike, the director inspection, Surveillance and enforcement who said the offenders were charged and fined between sh 15,000 and 20,000 shilling depending on their charges.

Dr wasike regretted that the fines were too low to deter the offenders from going back and continuing with their illegal business.

“As a board we have no powers to determine the amount of fine but we would like the courts in their own wisdom to come up with fines and jail terms that will deter the offenders from going back to commit the same crime.

Addressing the press after a one day stakeholders sensitization workshop which brought together pharmacists, security agents and officials of the county government, Dr Wasike said it is not the wish of the board to close down premises and urged the players to self regulate and ensure the industry is not infiltrated by quacks.

“This is a sensitive industry its about lives and wealth of Kenyans.it is wrong for anyone to put the health of Kenyans at risk by selling expired or sub-standard drugs,” said Dr wasike.

Dr wasike who was flanked by Garissa county commissioner Meru Mwangi and his security team together with senior officials from board also warned pharmacists against selling restricted over the counter.

“The biggest challenge in Garissa dn northeastern at large is miraa chewers especially among the youth who are buying restricted drugs over the counter which the law enforcers should help in fighting the vice,”she said.

Some of the drugs that are abused include Benyline with codeine,coscof cyrup,diazepam,rohypnol and morphine.

She also took issue with pharmaceutical  superintendent who operate pharmacies in different counties using one license something she said was against the law.

“The law is very clear on the use of the license. You cannot use one licences to run several pharmacists in different part of the country. this is very common and it is something we are determined to rid off,” she said.

Leaders from northeastern have on several occasion blamed the authorities for doing little to control the use of the drugs and substance especially among the youth.

Speaking at a recent function, Garissa township Aden Duale sid the country risked loosing a big population of youth is drastic measures are not put in place to stop the use of drugs.