March 2021 Businessdaily;Individuals found selling or dispensing medicine without a written prescription from a registered health practitioner face three years in jail or fine of up to Sh30,000 if MPs approve changes to the law.
The Pharmacy and Poisons (Amendment) Bill, 2021 currently before the House aims at safeguarding the health of all Kenyans and encourage them to seek medical attention from qualified health professionals.
“A person shall not sale or dispense medicine to another person without a prescription signed by a registered health practitioner, medical practitioner, dentist or veterinary surgeon,” the Bill states.
“Any person who contravenes subsection (5) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding thirty thousand shillings or to imprisonment to a term not exceeding three years or to both.”
Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter who sponsored the Bill said sale of over the counter medication has always encouraged self-diagnosis of the ailments without the benefit of medical advice from a health or medical practitioner.
“This endangers the lives of those who may consume harmful medication, suffer adverse reactions or even develop drug resistance owing to abuse or misuse of certain medication like antibiotics,” Mr Keter said in the Bills memorandum of Object and Reasons.
Proliferation of unregistered or unlicensed chemist has seen the Pharmacy and Poisons Board launch countrywide crackdown.
In 2019, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board closed down about 80 illegal chemists in Nairobi and Kajiado counties.
The board said some of the chemists or pharmacies were selling controlled drugs that are abused in Nairobi and used in drugging crimes.