Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has issued a directive to the Pharmacy and Poisons Board directing the agency to launch a crackdown on chemists selling counterfeit drugs to unsuspecting Kenyans.
Speaking while presiding over the opening of Questa Care Pharmaceuticals, a Ksh1.5 billion drug manufacturing company in the Industrial Area, Gachagua raised concerns that drugs being sold in Kenyan chemists pose serious health risks to Kenyans.
“The Pharmacy and Poisons Board must intensify the crackdown on manufacturing and trafficking of counterfeit pharmaceuticals across the country. We have allocated resources to facilitate the regulatory body in delivering on this assignment,” said the Deputy President.
To achieve this, the Deputy President remarked that the government will enhance surveillance to weed out rogue dealers.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua during a Sunday Service at Anglican Church, Kapsabet on October 8, 2023.
He also emphasized that for the operation to be successful, the Board should embrace a multi-agency approach.
“The Pharmacy and Poisons Board must work hard. We are finding a situation where drugs that should not be sold over the counter are in chemists and pharmacies,” Gachagua stated.
DP Gachagua further remarked that the crackdown was not criminalising any enterprise but rather, a bid to protect Kenyans against uncertified drugs.
The Deputy President also seized the opportunity to woo investors saying the government has stamped out bureaucracy in the manufacture and supply of drugs.
“As an administration, we have gone out of our way to make sure that licensing is as easy as possible by doing away with bureaucracy to enable people to start factories,” Gachagua remarked.
The Deputy President further hinted at the government’s intentions to establish local companies stating that 62% of drugs were already being manufactured locally.
“KEMSA is doing good by ringfencing purchase of drugs from local manufacturers for the drugs that they are able to manufacture. In a few years it will go to 100 percent,” he added.
Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) facility in Nairobi on May 10, 2023.