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February 29, 2020 - 00:34
Cyprian Is Nyakundi

Kenyan Politicians To Venture Into Pharma Sector

Amendments were made to cap244 secretly without consulting pharmaceutical society of Kenya (PSK).
The health bill is a unique and very important law that governs health sector. There is cap244 that takes care of pharmacy and poisons board (PPB), the sole regulator of pharmacy practice and products. (Note that: medicines are referred to as poisons according to PPB). 
Recently, amendments were made to cap244 secretly without consulting pharmaceutical society of Kenya (PSK). The amendments were majorly affecting the pharmacy practice in terms of licensing.


There are three categories of pharmacy practice recognized by law.

1. Pharmacy diploma holders (pharmaceutical technologists)

2. Pharmacy degree holders (pharmacists)

3. Masters and PhD holders (consultant pharmacists)

The three cadres have different roles to play according to their qualifications. 

The recent amendment seeks to put the three cadres under one name pharmaceutical practitioner making their licenses same.

The bulk of the practice is formed by the pharmaceutical technologists (pharm techs) making them own 99% of the community pharmacy practice. In the real sense only 10% own a pharmacy outlet and the rest of the 89% have leased their licenses to unscrupulous businessmen and women (quacks).  This has resulted in:

1. Selling of prescription-only medicines (POM) without prescriptions which leads to antibiotic resistance, organ failure and an increase in chronic illnesses due to mismanagement.

2. No consultation; due to their limited knowledge on medications patients are not given the required medication information e.g

▪ Dosage and frequency

▪ Drug-drug interactions

▪ Drug-disease interactions

▪ Drug-food interactions

▪ Side-effects

▪ Adverse drug reactions

▪ Storage and administration conditions e.t.c

3. Profiteering regardless of quality

4. Poisoning the public and destroying their organs

5. Misdiagnosis and Mismanagement e.t.c

Remember 90% of patients visit community pharmacy before visiting the hospitals and need proper primary health care. With that in mind, Politicians want to import medicines since the pharma business is so profitable after poisoning the public with substandard maize and sugar. 

The regulation states that: only pharmacists and consultant pharmacists can wholesale, import and manufacture. There are few pharmacists and consultant pharmacist and the few could not lease their licenses to politicians and cartels.

The only cheap licenses available to quacks are that of pharmtechs but they cannot import according to the law. 

The solution is to amend the law to accommodate them and in the process, they have to give something to the pharm techs which is the generalization of the cadres that way both groups will benefit. Kenya is a signatory to international laws but these politicians are hell bent to import poisons than to keep international laws and the health of their people. 

For every 100 people 5 are suffering from kidney disease and 60% of these cases are caused by medicines. Politician got a good cover that will enable them to visit the big hospital with pharmacists and consultant pharmacist but the general populations that cannot afford such quality healthcare are stacked with quacks that now have the capability to import medicines.

Hansard of 19th June 2018


1. Open doors for all to import medicines. Anyone who can lease a pharm tech license would now import medicines.

2. Counterfeit medicines will make their way to Kenya very easily. It is not easy to manage so many importers

3. The regulator will be overwhelmed. Already cannot control the quacks at the community pharmacy.

4. Import of substandard medicines

5. Quantity over quality


Cap244 is not meant for only one cadre. It has been the law governing the profession. It has its own demerits but that does not give one the mandate to change or amend it without satisfactorily sitting with the rest of the cadres. 

It is uncalled for the pharm techs to liaise with their fellow in the parliament to sneak in amendments without considering the say of others. Shame on you ‘’pharm techs’’. Looking for a shortcut to become a pharmacist is illegal and unfair to your predecessors who upgraded to become a pharmacist by doing a degree in bpharm


Members of parliament represent every Kenyan and not only pharmtechs and your interests. Cap244 regulates both pharmacists and pharmtechs. It is bad of you to listen and put amendments that favour your team of interest and not the entire cadres. How could you put your interests before that of your people?


Let us fight for quality healthcare say no to the amendments. These amendments will enrich cartels and politicians and will increase our suffering. More chronic diseases, more mismanagement, more antibiotic resistance, more liver diseases and more kidney failures will prevail.

Let us stand up and fight the cartels together.

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