Following the coronavirus outbreak, many Kenyans have resorted to self-medicating when they get flu-like symptoms.
Health officials have warned Kenyans against self-medicating. The warning comes days after there was an increase in demand for three drugs touted as the cure to coronavirus.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK), believes that hoarding of the three drugs will lead to a severe shortage. As a result, it will affect the treatment of patients with pre-existing conditions and those that might get infected with the virus.
The three drugs are chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and azithromycin. Normally, the three drugs are only sold on prescription. However, Kenyans have managed to get hold of and hoard them putting the entire country in danger.
Dr. Daniella Munene, CEO of the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya says that hoarding the drugs is irresponsible and reckless in the face of a pandemic. Additionally, she said it is illegal.
“This behavior is irresponsible and reckless in the face of a pandemic that has the potential to be the biggest challenge yet to our health system. Hoarding these essential medicines means that patients who depend on them to daily improve their quality of life, or those who might eventually get Covid-19, will be adversely affected by the shortage that will ensue,” Dr. Munene said.
Possession of prescription-only drugs without a prescription is illegal. If found guilty, one will have to pay a hefty fine or go to jail.
Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. On the other hand, azithromycin is a very effective antibiotic. Chloroquine manages symptoms of malaria and amoebiasis.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya has warned pharmacists against supplying the three drugs. In addition, they asked them to observe the law and the PSK Code of Ethics.
Pharmacists who do not observe the code of ethics will face disciplinary actions and eventually, their licenses might be revoked