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MP drafts bill to regulate pills sale, as Viagra continues to kill MPs

So far, Kenyans can easily count the number of members of parliament who have allegedly died  from wrong usage of sex performance enhancement drugs, and while the families rarely admit to this out of fear of ridicule, the cause of their deaths are always public knowledge and fodder for tabloids and gossip magazines. 

In what will undoubtedly be perceived as a swift reaction and mitigation measure, Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter is now proposing that the Pharmacy and Poisons Act be amended to prohibit the sale or dispensing of medicine without a prescription – known as over-the-counter drugs.

Prior to all this, an alarm had been recently raised by pharmacists over increased use of sex enhancing drugs `— famously known as the blue pill — largely purchased over the counter and from online platforms owing to the anonymity the spaces provided.

Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya in January warned that the use of the said medicines without prior medical evaluation makes one prone to their harmful effects.

The board said that in as much as these medicines effectively manage erectile dysfunction, the public should refrain from accessing them without evaluation, diagnosis, and prescription by a qualified medical practitioner.

Recent reviews also showed that young people are consuming psychoactive narcotics created from synthetic chemicals.

However, in his Bill, the Nandi Hills legislator has maintained that it is meant to protect all Kenyans from general misuse of drugs, and not targeting a particular misuse. “This is aimed at safeguarding the health of all Kenyans and encouraging them to always seek medical attention from qualified health practitioners notwithstanding that an ailment may be considered as a minor.

This endangers the lives of those who may consume harmful medication, suffer adverse reactions or even develop drug resistance owing to abuse or misuse of certain medications like antibiotics,”  

In Keter’s Bill, the prescription he suggests will have to be signed by a registered medical practitioner, failure to which, a Sh30,000 fine or three years in jail or both for persons who contravene the law banning such sale shall be meted. 

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    Written by Joshua Wanga

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