Pharmacy Board proposes regulations for oversight of eHealth services –


The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) has proposed a set of regulations to oversee the nation’s online pharmacy services. Onesmus Kilonzo, head of the Western Region Board, said current laws do not apply to health services delivered online and that it is important to improve the requirements of the rules so that ‘they correspond to those of the international market.

Kilonzo said a large population of consumers now prefer online services and health services such as consultation, sale of medicines and drugs, prescription, counseling and disease management have become digitized.

“With advances in technology, we have found it necessary to come up with new sets of rules and regulations that will govern the industry,” Onesmus said.

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The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) Western Region Secretary, Dr. Tom Sindani, said advertising of e-health services should also be permitted by the PPB to align with the proposed laws.

“Anyone who advertises pharmaceuticals online must obtain clearance from PPB,” he stressed.

Sindani explained that unlike over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs are subject to stricter measures to protect their use. He went on to say that if advertising is not properly regulated, people can abuse pharmaceuticals.

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

Dr. George Matimbai, President of PSK Western Region, expressed his dissatisfaction with the lack of defined guidelines for the management of medical waste. He recommended that expired and unused drugs be properly distributed.

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

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

Online advertising of healthcare establishments and online medicines has drawn mixed reactions with some netizens disparaging influencers who claim to be sick in order to promote a product or establishment.

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