More inspectors hired over fake drugs

July 23, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, July 23 – The government Wednesday said it was in the process of recruiting more inspectors at the Pharmacy and Poisons Board to ensure no fake drugs got into the market.

Medical Services Permanent Secretary Hezron Nyangito said they would also enlist help from the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) to deal with the problem.

"I can assure you all the supplies procured by the government are not fake. The fake drugs come through the parallel market; the ones which are sold in the chemists," he stated in an interview with Capital News.

"They import it disguising it sometimes as food," he revealed.

There have been previous reports of fake anti malarial and anti retroviral drugs penetrating the market.

Nyangito said they would also embark on educating Kenyans on the features of genuine drugs.

"Whenever we have identified counterfeits in the market, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board will come out and bring the information to Kenyans. It is a continuous war."  

He at the same time called on Kenyans to ensure they buy medicine from registered chemists to eliminate the problem of counterfeits.
Meanwhile, Medical Services Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o Wednesday inaugurated a nine member taskforce to analyse the performance of the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA).

The taskforce led by Dr Richard Muga, a former Director of Medical Services, is expected to investigate the institution and provide the government with recommendations in three months.

Nyong’o directed the team to come up with a clear separation of mandates for the Board, the Ministry and the employees of KEMSA and said the inefficiencies in the institution were as a result of poor guidelines.

"We would like to synchronise all these procurements initiatives both of drugs and medical equipment so that the work of Kemsa can be streamlined," said the Minister.

The taskforce was formed after the dissolution of the board of directors two weeks ago and the Chief Executive Officer Charles Kandie sent on compulsory leave for poor management.

Other members of the taskforce are Permanent Secretaries, Dr Hezron Nyangito, Dr James Nyikal and Joseph Kinyua as well as Director of Medical Services Dr Francis Kimani.

Erastus Rweria, Maureen Nafula, Julius Kemboy and Adan Khalif are also members of the team.


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