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KAPI WEEKLY BRIEF: 11TH – 15TH JANUARY 2021

15th January 2021

Executive Summary

The Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) is a membership organization, established in the late 1960s, representing biopharmaceutical manufacturers (or their local representatives) that through research invent and develop medicines and technologies (e.g., Biopharmaceuticals, Vaccine Healthcare, Medical devices, Diagnostics) that significantly improve people’s lives. KAPI represents the industry voice and promotes efficiency in the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that medical products and healthcare technologies of the highest quality can be readily available for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases.

Weekly Brief:

This is a roundup of news allied to the biopharmaceutical industry with a bearing on our mission to improve access to lifesaving health products and technologies for positive health outcomes.

  • World Health Organization (WHO) team of scientists arrived in Wuhan China on Thursday 14th January 2021 in plans to probe the origins of COVID-19. This comes after delays in being granted permission for the visit by the Chinese government. (The Hindu)
  • With the global COVID-19 pandemic still soaring, there have been a rise in reports of emergence of new variants of the virus. Some are associated with severe infections or rapid spread as has been noted with the South African and UK variants. Recently Kenya and the US also reported new variants. (Kenya – Nation Media; US – Financial Times)
  • German company Baxter Germany set to start the production of BioNTech/Pfizer Vaccine by early March (Reuters)
  • African Union (AU) secured an additional 270million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, AstraZeneca through the Serum Institute of India, and Johnson & Johnsons. (Reuters; The Presidency)
  • AstraZeneca filed for EU vaccine approval with additional information on safety, quality and efficacy. (Medical Express)
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Vir Biotechnology are set to test their monoclonal antibody treatment for on mild to moderate COVID-19 patients within the first quarter of 2021. (Reuters)
  • Systems thinking and the application of systems thinking tools to real world problems is critical in the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). (Yale Insights)
  • Progress made in the fight against superbug Acinetobacter baumannii through coupling of phages and antibiotics. (newsGP)
  • The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and Speak Up Africa launched the Africa Young Innovators for Health Awards on 11th January 2021. This award seeks to fuel innovation and help advance promising healthcare solutions in the continent. (SciDev Net; Young Innovators for Health Award)

Thank You!!!

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KAPI New Year Message – 2021

In a day, we’ll be crossing over from a significantly life-changing year to the next. The year 2020 has been life-changing to all of us; work from home, masking, social distancing, job losses, and loss of loved ones among others. It’s been extraordinary how we’ve adapted to the changes, pivoted our systems to cope and weathered the storm. Regardless of this, the battle isn’t yet won. COVID-19 is still with us and we’ve got to comply with the recommended measures of washing hands, wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travels & gatherings where possible.

When the first case of COVID-19 was reported in March, our lives were turned upside down with anxiety and uncertainty at its peak. As an association rooted on our mission, to promote efficiency in the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that medical products and healthcare technologies of the highest quality can be readily available for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases, we have pivoted and continued to discharge our mandate through alternative means. Our physical meetings morphed to virtual meetings, stakeholders’ engagements took place virtually with a renewed commitment to leverage on our different strengths for improved efficiencies among others.

In September during the World Patient Safety Week, in conjunction with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB), Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN), Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK), National Nurses Association of Kenya (NNAK), Kenya Medical Association (KMA), Hospital Pharmacists Association of Kenya (HOPAK) and The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), we revamped our commitment to improve access to quality, safe and efficacious medical products and technologies as a prerequisite for quality healthcare & patient safety anchored on empowered, competent and protected healthcare workers. It also became evident that to foster this commitment, there’s need to continually engage with stakeholders and share insights for continuous improvement of care. As an association, we pledge to carry this into the next year.

Our members from the outset of the pandemic took up responsibility to engage with and contribute to the national response in different fronts. At institutional level, they adopted containment measures to safeguard their employees, reviewed their supply chain dynamics to buffer the sector from stock outs that were speculated. At community level, they were at the forefront in supporting communities through donations both to their communities and to professional associations to safeguard the wellbeing of healthcare practitioners among others. On global stage, our member companies have taken lead to develop therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19. These include vaccines that are currently in the pipeline by Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, Johnson & Johnson among others. These have been made possible by our common commitment as an industry to improve access to quality lifesaving healthcare products and technologies for a healthy populace. In one way or the other, you as a stakeholder have made it possible for us to get to this point and we appreciate you for that.

As we welcome a new year, having come to terms with our new normal it’s time to improve on our performance rooted on our commitment to safeguard the health of our people and improve access to quality, safe and efficacious healthcare products and technologies. To realize this, we know we can only dream so big and bank on your support to make it a reality. It’s because of this that we commit the New Year to a “Year of Redefining Collaboration in the Pharmaceutical Industry”.

In the coming year, we’ll be keen to revamp and establish new collaborative engagements with stakeholders; bring science behind the work we do as an industry closer to the people we do it for and derive value from it and most importantly do good for our communities. Good business is good for business and this will always be at the core of our work. Let’s walk the journey together.

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Big pharma’s healthy contribution

With a macroeconomic growth of between five and 10 per cent, according to the 2016-2017 Comesa biennial report, Kenya was recognised as one of the fastest growing countries in the world. It has become a business hub in East Africa, with diverse investments by foreign firms keen to penetrate the lucrative regional markets.

The pharmaceutical industry is no.exception.

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KAPI Code of Practice

International media focus on promotion practices has resulted in increased scrutiny of the practice world over on the operations of the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices industry. Enactment of anti- corruption and anti-bribery laws that have a wider jurisdiction of enforcement, in the United states, United Kingdom amongst other countries have highlighted the need to transparency in operation across many countries. Kenya has also enacted anti-corruption laws that have created the need for more transparency and accountability in interactions with healthcare professionals and the public.

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