The Pharmacy and Poison’s Board (PPB) has moved in to regulate and bring sanity in community pharmacy practice (chemists) in Kenya. The sector has for long been under regulated leading to the mushrooming of illegal chemists across the country.
According to the board’s CEO Dr Fred Siyoi, everyone wants to be in the chemist business but they are not adhering to the laid down rules and standards.
“50% of all registered chemists in Nairobi are concentrated in streets and buildings and are not spread out to all areas of need,” he said.
There are 5840 registered pharmacies in Kenya. Nairobi leads with 1860 chemists followed by Central region at 870. South Rift has the least at only 60 chemists. According to Dr Siyoi, this concentration in one region compromises the quality of service offered to Kenyans and makes it difficult to regulate community pharmacy practice.
Some of the new proposed regulations include the following;
1. Chemists will be expected to be at least 50meters apart.
2. Premises will reflect level of practice. Those run by pharmacists will be painted white with green cross label while those run by pharmaceutical technicians will be painted white with a blue cross. Green Cross is a mark of quality by the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK)
3. Pharmaceutical technicians will be required to attain a 6year experience in order to qualify to register/superintendent a chemist.
4. One intending to register a chemist should not be a holder of another license for a different premises and should not be engaged as a practitioner in any other enterprise.
5. Dispensing of Prescription-only-Medicines (POM) will be done only under supervision of a named pharmacist or pharmaceutical technician except in compliance with a valid prescription signed by a registered medical practitioner, dentist or veterinary surgeon.
6. Prescription and dispensing records shall be retained for a minimum of 5years for narcotic drugs and 2years for other drugs.
7. Adequate personnel hygiene and clothing shall be maintained throughout working hours. Professionals shall have white dust coat with a name tag while nontechnical staff shall have grey dust coat.
These recommendations are set to be tabled before PPB board of directors next week Tuesday for approval.
Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache has supported the proposed guidelines adding that they were in line with the changes the ministry intended to adopt from Thailand.