Fake Viagra: PPB Officials Warn of Consumption Risks


Kenya’s Pharmacy and Poisons Board has warned the public of the high influx of fake Viagra into the country most of which come in from China and India.

Dennis Otieno, the head of crime investigations and enforcement for the Pharmacy and Poisons Board made this known in a sideline interview at a 2-day international workshop on combating counterfeiting and piracy held at PrideInn Beach Resort in Mombasa starting June 7th.

“What we have mostly been seizing at the ports of entry to Kenya is different kinds of falsified viagra,” Otieno said. He revealed that in February, two men were charged with illegal possession of fake viagra worth Sh44 million.

He touched on the risk of consuming fake viagra, saying that it can lead to death! “It is dangerous for people to consume [fake] Viagra as it can cause death or the user can be maimed for life,” Otieno added.

Otieno said that so far in their clamp down, they have discovered two fake brands; Vega tablets and Enzoy Plus. The first case of the former (Vega) was in 2015 when fake tablets concealed in cartons were seized at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

fake Viagra

Otieno said that they “arrested the suspects and took them to court, where they faced charges of being in possession of [fake] medicines.” The fake drugs were collectively valued at Sh 4 million.

He further revealed that later in 2015, they were able to seize about 20 cartons of Enzoy Plus at a Container Freight Station in Mombasa. He said that origin of the drugs in both cases was traced back to China.

A study released by the United Nations (UN) in May 2017 showed that Mombasa port experiences one of the highest levels of fake drug trafficking from anti-inflammatory to antimalarials.

Read Also: Story of Teenager Who Died of Caffeine Addiction 

Also present at the conference was Wilfrid Roge, of the Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines (IRACM) who noted that worldwide fake drug trading amounts to about $75 billion annually.

He also said that 10% of the world’s drugs are fake, and in Africa alone, an estimated 100,000 people lose their lives to fake drug use.

Roge said that in a research carried out in Africa between 2012 and 2016, Sh800 million worth of fake drugs were seized. On the bright side, he said that Kenya’s numbers are minimal in comparison to other African countries. He mentioned Niger and DR Congo as the most plagued African countries.

Dennis Otieno corroborated Roge’s review saying that Kenya has seen a considerable success in combatting drug trafficking.

Otieno acclaimed the painstaking effort from multiple agencies for the success, saying; “Through cooperation with the Kenya Revenue Authority, the Mombasa port authorities, the Anti-Counterfeit Agency, the police and other agencies we have been able to address the counterfeit challenges.”

Otieno stressed the need for government agencies to continue to join forces in order to effectively curb fake drug trafficking.

The workshop featured attendance from experts from 27 countries many of who called on African countries to unite in the fight against counterfeit drugs.