It defeats logic for PBB to issue alerts

Thursday, September 21st, 2023 01:30 | By
Pharmacy and Poisons Board Headquarters. PHOTO/Google Maps/Edward Abwao

In what appears to have become a norm, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) has once again issued an alert over the circulation of what it terms as sub-standard and harmful drugs in the market.

PPB’s latest forewarning, Tamedol oral solution (Paracetamol oral solution) manufactured by Biopharma Limited Kenya, has failed to meet the prescribed market authorisation requirements.

As such PPB has stopped all further distribution, sale, issuing or use of the drug and cautioned members of the public in possession of the product to return it to either the nearest health facility or supplier.

This is not the first time PPB has issued such an alert. In all the cases, PPB has taken such a decision, it only consigns itself to the public to return the said fake drugs to health stores, thus lending credence to the widely held view that it either lacks the teeth to bite or it has become complicit.

As a regulatory body, charged with the responsibility to ensure the highest standards of safety, efficacy and quality for all drugs, chemical substances and medical devices, whether locally manufactured or imported, one would expect PPB to rein in firms found culpable of circulating fake or harmful drugs.

There are claims that some unscrupulous PPB employees allow importation of sub-standard and fake drugs in exchange for bribes from illegal traders, an allegation that the regulatory body seems to have been confirming through its failure to take any action against blameworthy pharmaceutical firms.

PPB has also been previously accused of allowing uncertified companies to manufacture and supply drugs. It defeats any logic for PBB to continue issuing alerts over the proliferation of fake and harmful drugs in the market, and yet it has never raised its finger against the firms responsible for the supply of the same.

Whose responsibility is it to act against pharmaceutical firms that break the law with such open impunity to manufacture or import fake drugs? Besides, has PBB abandoned its oversight mandate over drug manufacturers and suppliers to ensure safety and efficacy of their products? Finally, who is responsible for issuing permits to firms involved in the manufacture, export, import and supply of drugs? The daily alerts and recalls have become both monotonous and ineffective.

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