What you need to know:
- This year alone, the agency has blacklisted nine drugs, which sends a signal about the quality of the medicines being prescribed for Kenyans.
- Checks should be intensified to ensure that only medicines that are safe and cure the illnesses for which they are prescribed are distributed in the country.
The recall by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) of a children’s drug over safety concerns is laudable. The medicine is used as a pain reliever to lower fever.
PPB Chief Executive Officer Fred Siyoi says the paracetamol-based oral solution, known as Tamedol, should not be distributed and must be taken off the shelves of chemists and pharmacies.
The decision followed an investigation that confirmed that it does not meet the requirements and should, therefore, not be administered to children. Parents who may have the drug should surrender it to health facilities.
This year alone, the agency has blacklisted nine drugs, which sends a signal about the quality of the medicines being prescribed for Kenyans. Checks should be intensified to ensure that only medicines that are safe and cure the illnesses for which they are prescribed are distributed in the country.
Vigilance by the board’s personnel has led to investigations and the recall of medicines that can harm those who take them not knowing that they are unsuitable. The first casualty this year was a cream for the treatment of skin conditions.
This is a continuation of the good work by the board that saw 11 products recalled last year. It has urged the public to be vigilant and file complaints on such substandard medicines.
But many cannot tell which drugs should not be on the shelves. And unscrupulous manufacturers and traders driven by the profit motive will make such products and distribute them. The campaign to ensure that medicines used by Kenyans are safe should also entail the prevention of counterfeits.
Safety of medicines is a core responsibility of manufacturers and distributors, which is enforced by the board through such recalls. The total withdrawal of substandard or dangerous medicinal products from the market is absolutely essential.