The Ministry of Health through Kenya Drugs Authority Bill, 2022, has proposed stringent measures for people selling herbal medicine.
In the bill which has already been presented to the Parliamentary Health Committee, any Kenyan who will not adhere to the measures commits an offence and upon conviction will be liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both.
The Bill describes herbal medicine as plant-derived material or preparations with claimed therapeutic or other human or veterinary health benefits.
The legislation further outlines that herbal medicine contains either raw or processed ingredients from one or more plants or materials of inorganic or animal origin.
Members of Parliament at the National Assembly in September 2022
Parliament of Kenya
“A person shall not sell any therapeutic cosmetic that contains any substance that may cause injury to the health of the user when used,” the Bill states.
The herbalist will only be guilty of the aforementioned if the drug was used according to directions on the label or for such purposes and by such methods of use as are customary.
The Ministry of Health has further proposed that it will be an offence to sell herbal medicine that consists in whole or in any part of any filth or any injurious foreign matter.
Once passed into law, it will be illegal to sell herbal medicine that has been prepared, preserved, packed or stored under insanitary conditions.
Kenyans selling herbal drugs that are likely to be mistaken for a therapeutic cosmetic of the prescribed standard will also be deemed to have committed an offence.
“The Authority, in the public interest may prohibit any ingredient contained in therapeutic cosmetics by notice in the Gazette,” the Bill states further.
If the Bill is passed into law, Parliament will establish the Kenya Drugs Authority which will provide for the regulation and management of drugs and chemical substances.
The Authority will provide for the regulation of medical devices and other health technologies.
Additionally, the Authority will give effect to the principles and objects of the devolved government in drug safety regulation and for connected purposes.
KEMSA Chairman Irungu Nyakera(Left) and Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha (Right) on Tuesday, May 16.