Mombasa, Kenya May 14, 2019 - Today the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Directors and management met with various stakeholders in Mombasa County to explore areas of collaboration on issues of pharmacy practice and regulation.
Led by the Chairman, Dr. Jackson Kioko, the CEO Dr. F. M. Siyoi and Board Member Dr. Mary Kisingu, the Board met with the County Executive Committee Member; Health Services, Mrs. Hazel Koitaba and various distributors of medical products and technologies to ensure that only legal outlets operate within the area.
Improving the availability of medicines authorized in the country is a key priority of the PPB, the Chairman said.
The aim of the stakeholder meetings was to develop and coordinate actions for better inspection, enforcement and management of communication on issues that can affect availability of quality medical products.
Dr. Kioko observed that the Pharmacy and Poisons Board has so far inspected 3383 pharmacies countrywide and closed over 700 in the last one year.
He said the exercise will continue in collaboration with key stakeholders and law enforcement agencies through the nyumba kumi initiative to ensure unlicensed businesses are closed.
“The safety of Kenyans is very paramount and the Board shall continue to work closely with the county health department to ensure unlicensed pharmacy outlets are closed,” he said.
The PPB CEO, Dr. Siyoi emphasized that the Board will deploy mini-labs at lower levels to screen and assure the quality of medical products on the market.
“We are also developing good distribution practice guidelines that will define the set up of pharmacies in terms of size, structure and distance between each other,” he said. This guidelines will also address the challenges of mushrooming of pharmacies around hospitals, he added.
The CEC Mrs. Hazel observed that the mushrooming of pharmacies and clinics around hospitals is affecting service delivery in public health facilities and called for stringent measures to address the issue.
She also said there is need to ensure pharmaceutical outlets are manned by professionals and the products are of good quality and cost effective to boost patient confidence in public services.
PPB Chairman Dr. Jackson Kioko, and CEO Dr. Siyoi inspects Mevida chemist in Bumburi. The team closed Get well pharmacy in the same area operating illegally.
The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PBB) Members and Senior staff acted this week to target pharmacies that illegally sell medical products to consumers in the Coast region. This is part of the cooperative effort, led by the PPB Chairman, Dr. Jackson Kioko, to protect the health of the public by combating the unlawful sale and distribution of medical products by unregistered outlets and personnel.
Dr. Kioko who was accompanied by PPB Board Member Dr. Mary Kisingu, PPB Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. F. Siyoi among others closed down Get Well Pharmacy in Bamburi for operating a pharmacy without valid licenses from the PPB and an illegal clinic.
He observed that consumers are being put at risk by individuals who put financial gains above patient safety, and the Board will not relent until all the illegal premises are closed down.
He also put on notice the absentee superintendents who leave their licensed pharmacies in the hands of quacks or unqualified people putting Kenyans lives in danger.
He said the Board has introduced the use of closure notices with unique serial numbers that will be displayed on the doors of affected chemists. “The notices act as a warning to members of the public to keep off such chemists," he said and advised the public to use the Health Safety Code displayed in registered chemists to verify their legality.
The PPB CEO, Dr. Siyoi added that the Board provides consumers with information to identify a legal pharmacy and information on how to buy medicine safely through the Health Safety Code, which can be assessed through a free mobile phone SMS code 21031.
He clarified that the code enables any customer to ascertain the identity by name and location of legitimate pharmacists who are registered by the PPB. The free SMS code 21031 he added gives all the registration details of legitimate pharmacists, their premises location and aims at weeding out quacks who run illegal pharmacies or chemists that are not registered by PPB and are endangering the lives of the public.
“The SMS code banner should particularly be displayed on the windows of all pharmacies premises and customers should always verify the authenticity of the outlet using the displayed banner SMS code before buying medicines,’’ he said and advised the practitioners to pick their Banners from the Board.
Dr. Kioko advised all practitioners who have not renewed their premise or practice license to do. He informed the stakeholders that the Board was reviewing the guidelines on Good Distribution Practices to ensure effective regulation of pharmacies and control of the pharmacy profession.
The Board members are in the coastal region on a fact finding visit and pharmaceutical stakeholder engagement