Tighten inspection to stop counterfeit drugs

The warning by the Ministry of Health about the circulation of counterfeit contraceptives will have alarmed many members of the public who use the popular Postinor-2 drug.

Most pharmacists will freely admit that there are fewer more popular non-prescription drugs in their stores, especially on weekends, than some of these contraceptives.

Now, the World Health Organization has warned that falsified Postinor-2 has been discovered in the Ugandan capital Kampala.

Considering the intimate trade ties between Kenya and Uganda, it is a fair bet that some of the counterfeit drugs may have found their way into the country.

The notification by the ministry that consumers should look out for a white “scratch area” to distinguish the counterfeit products from the genuine ones is a reasonable first step.

More needs to be done.

This is a serious criminal offence that should attract focused and concerted action by the investigative authorities.

Cooperation across borders will be necessary to nab the culprits.

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board should work harder to tackle the circulation of counterfeit drugs which could undermine confidence in the public health system.

More broadly, there is a clear need for education on reproductive matters to the youth.

It is a source for concern that many young men are consuming drugs designed to improve sexual performance while their female counterparts seem happy with methods of contraception that are not designed to prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections.