July 27th 2017

Top Stories / National

Pharmacists raise concern over unregulated medicine

Buyers are advised to avoid buying medicine not possessing English or Swahili instructions, in addition to SMS app where they can verify the legality of the drugs. KAPI has taken the findings and raised the red flag to the people to take caution on the drugs they take as well as raising awareness of

By Njuguna Kirunkiru@kenyafreepress.comFriday, 07 Jul 2017 12:49 EAT

KAPI Chairperson Dr Anastasia Nyalita Speaking at a Healthcare Professionals Symposium organized by the association at a past event

An alarm has been raised where 8 per cent of drugs brought over the counter are not regulated. This is according to a research undertaken by Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) and University of Nairobi pharmaceutical department.

KAPI chairperson, Anastasia Nyalita said this was achieved in a baseline survey that focused on nine popular medicine brands, which gave a more concise picture of the market-wide challenge than it was previously. Dr Nyalita speaking during the release said that such drugs pose a danger as their efficiency is questionable. The medicine below standards gain access to the country by evading the approval tests by the Pharmacy and poisons board.

The study revealed that those affected most were the high blood pressure victims since they are bought in huge quantities since the patient has to take them for a period of time. Infospective Research Principal Investigator Joel Lehmann said that the unregulated drugs major problem mainly occurred due to un-recommend storage while in transit. They evade scrutiny by the authorities by using channels like Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.

Buyers are advised to avoid buying medicine not possessing English or Swahili instructions, in addition to SMS app where they can verify the legality of the drugs. KAPI has taken the findings and raised the red flag to the people to take caution on the drugs they take as well as raising awareness of such matters. They hope this will pave way for broader discussions on ways of curbing the vice. The fight against counterfeit drugs has intensified after an amount of 900 million drugs seized at African borders.

“What we are looking for is to be able to create a system where the patients’ are empowered to take decisions’ about the products-by creating a system where the patients can carry out the authenticity of the products” said Dr William Mwatu – Managing Director, Tried Approach Limited.

Since May 2016, the PPB has managed to shut down 670 outlets that were involved in illegal pharmaceutical activities with 612 of these being arraigned in court. The International Institute for Research against Counterfeit Medicines (IRACM) and The World Customs Organization (WCO) intensified the fight seeking to curb the vice. 

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