Candidate blames the influx of quacks on the 6-year licensing rule for pharmacists.

Kenya Pharmaceutical Association’s (KPA) national chairmanship position Elias Ndung’u (centre) addressing the press in Thika.
A candidate for next month’s Kenya Pharmaceutical Association’s (KPA) national chairmanship position has accused the current leadership of running a cartel to sideline other players and micromanaging the industry through the introduction of draconian rules into the profession.

In a press conference held in Thika, Elias Ndung’u cited the introduction of a rule by Pharmacy & Poisons Board (PPB) stating that graduate pharmtechs have to wait for 6 years’ to get a license for practice as one which was detrimental to the industry, resulting to the influx of quacks working as pharmacists. 

“Where else in the world does a professional have to wait for 6 years in order to get licensed to work in a field that they already qualify? This is illogical and one that is killing this industry. It is part of the reasons why we have so many quacks operating pharmacies and it is only meant to allow the incumbents continue micromanaging the sector for individual selfish gains,” said Ndung’u.

He added that it was unfortunate that this was being propagated despite the fact Kenya was struggling to meet the World Health Organisation’s recommended pharmacist per population ratio.

“Currently, Kenya has barely 20,000 registered pharmacists against a population of almost 50 million people and instead of the current leadership thinking of how they can improve these statistics, they are the ones making it harder to operate in the industry,” he said.

No amendments, no elections.

Ndung’u warned that the practicing pharmacists will not allow any elections to take place if at all the playing field will not be level.

“To begin with, the choice of venue is a clear indication that the incumbents want to alienate possible competition. How do you expect members from say Turkana or Garissa to travel all the way to Mombasa for the exercise? Furthermore, the choice of the hotel is calculated to put off majority of members who cannot afford to raise the amount needed to be accommodated in such a 5-star hotel,” he noted.

The KPA elections have been scheduled for the 18th to 20th of July 2019 at Prideinn Hotel Mombasa.
Ndung’u suggested that since health was a devolved function, the association should follow suit and devolve its functions including its own elections.
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