Pharmacy Board Proposes Regulations for the Oversight of Online Health Services

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) has proposed a set of regulations to oversee the country’s online pharmacy services. Onesmus Kilonzo, the board’s Head of Western Region, stated that present laws do not apply to health services provided online and that it is important to improve the rules’ requirements to match those of the international market.

Kilonzo said that a large population of consumers now preferred online services and health services such as consultation, selling of medicines and drugs, prescription, counselling and therapeutic management had become digitized.

“With the advancement in technology, we saw it necessary to come-up with new sets of rules and regulations, that will govern the sector,” said Onesmus.

Read: 46 Arrested As Gov’t Cracks Down On Illegal Pharmacies In Central Region

The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) secretary Western Region, Dr. Tom Sindani said that advertising health services online should also be licensed by PPB to align with the proposed laws.

“Anyone making pharmaceutical advertisements online, should get clearance from PPB,” he emphasized.

Sindani explained that unlike over the counter medicines, prescription drugs were subject to stiffer measures to guard their use. He went on to say that if the advertising is not well regulated, the people may misuse the pharmaceuticals.

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Sindani believes that drug transportation, clinical studies, and pharmaceutical waste management should all be prioritized.

Dr. George Matimbai, the Chair of PSK Western Region, expressed his dissatisfaction with the lack of defined guidelines for managing medical waste. He recommended that expired and unused medications be properly dispensed.

“Expired and unused medicines are thrown away and they end up in the water we drink and contaminate the environment and services we consume which can breed very resistant strains of bacterium, that may not be treatable and curable in the near future,” he cautioned.

Read also:  22 People Arrested for Operating Chemists Illegally in Garissa, Wajir Counties

He asked the people to be pharmacovigilant, and report any unexpected side effects of a drug to the nearest medical facility and submit expired and unused drugs to the nearest medical facility.

Online advertising of health facilities and drugs online has elicited mixed reactions with a section of Netizens bashing influencers who pretend to be sick in order to promote a product or facility.

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Written by Francis Muli

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