Republic of Kenya

PPB intensify war on illegal medical products

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 6, 2017 – The Pharmacy and Poisons Board has enhanced its market surveillance activities, and is now using digital technologies to track shipments and identify gray products to ensure that those available in the Kenyan market are regulated.

The Board has set up systems to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness in control and management of Drugs and Healthcare products in the country, said Dr. Rakuomi Vivian of the Pharmacy and Poisons during the launch of the Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) Baseline Survey Report on Thursday.

The KAPI sponsored study which, was done by the pharmaceutical applied researchers from the University of Nairobi, School of Pharmacy alleges an 8 percent prevalence of unregulated or gray medical products within the Kenyan market, which stakeholders attending the launch strongly disputed.

To the curb prevalence of unregulated pharmaceutical products, KAPI Chairperson, Dr. Anastasia Nyalita said the Association will collaborate with the Ministry of Health and in particular the Pharmacy and Poisons Board to beef up market surveillance efforts while continuing to undertake wider studies to ascertain the full extent of the current challenge.

Dr. Nyalita explained that unregulated, or gray medicines, are those that have entered the market through irregular channels and have not undergone the necessary regulatory scrutiny and market conformity by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. The products she argued poses a greater risk of deficiencies and poor efficacy due to potentially incorrect storage by middle-men, product packaging intended for other climates, and languages that are not understood in Kenya.

‘’Such products, unlike those imported through the official channels, pose grave danger to the patient using them as their efficacy and quality remains questionable,’’ said Dr. Nyalita

The survey focused on 9 popular medicine brands as a representative sample for a wider market challenge based on literature review, interviews of 160 practicing retailers and purchase of 543 products conducted in 326 retail outlets in two major towns in Kenya.

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