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22 people arrested for operating pharmacies without licenses

22 people cooled their heels behind bars for operating illegal pharmacies in Wajir and Garissa counties.

Officials from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) conducted the raid with the help of officers from the National Police Service.

The officials had pitched camp at the two counties for the last week.

Ali Omar, North Eastern’s PPB chairperson, told the local dailies at least 48 people who learnt about the crackdown closed their businesses to avoid arrest.

“It’s regrettable these people closed their pharmacies after they got wind of the arrests. We believe they were doing business without a license and they feared inspection. However, they’re not off the hook. We know their businesses and have issued a notice of closure,” said Dr Omar.

The arrested individuals were taken to Wajir and Garissa police station but later released on cash bail.

According to the officers, they will be arraigned in court on Monday. Afterwards, they will be charged with selling unregistered drugs and operating unregistered businesses.

Dr Omar further warned that unscrupulous businesspersons and quarks had infiltrated the pharmacy business and put the lives of many patients at risk.

He asked Kenyans to remain vigilant.

In the past few months, the board has intensified its clampdown on chemists operating illegally across the country and closed down hundreds of them.

The board managed to close down at least 95 pharmacies in February in the lower Eastern region for operating without licenses.

PPB officials arrested at least 61 individuals and arraigned them in court. At the same time, they seized 85 cartons of different medicines.

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