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KAPI WEEKLY BRIEF: 25TH TO 29TH 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.

  • The Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine maker has applied to local authorities to conduct small domestic trials of Novavax Inc’s. COVID-19 Vaccine found to be 89.3% effective in UK trial. (Reuters |The Guardian)
  • The Lancet Commission on COVID-19 Vaccines and Therapeutics Task Force Members calls for structured investment in COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics for low and middle income countries. (The Lancet)
  • World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA) signs a strategic collaborative agreement to support scaling up of healthcare innovations in low and middle income countries (Health Europa)
  • Policies geared towards reduction of fomite disinfection to recommended levels are critical in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This is acknowledging potential transfer of resistance from bacterial pathogens especially on the backdrop of widespread disinfection and use of alcohol based hand sanitizers to contain spread of COVID-19. (Science)
  • Vaccines prevented 37 million deaths in the last 20years in LMIC and are projected to save 32 million more lives by 2030. This is why we must invest in vaccination programmes. (Mirage News)
  • WHO announces updated definitions for extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) to help precisely define patients who need complex treatment regimens, lead to better surveillance, reporting and monitoring of drug-resistant TB. (WHO)
  • Pfizer vaccine found to be only less effective against the South African variant of COVID-19 virus. (Telegraph)
  • Eli Lilly teams up with GSK and Vir biotech for COVID-19 antibody test. (FIERCE Biotech)
  • South Africa allows use of parasitic drug ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19 among patients on compassionate grounds for a controlled access programme. (Bloomberg)
  • The Global Fund needs additional funding to continue supporting the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria programs in the countries where it invests. After deploying all available COVID-19 funds, nearly $1 billion in total, most of it to sub-Saharan African countries, it has run out of funding. Without this support, implementer countries risk facing significant disruptions to their three disease programs while COVID-19 cases continue to rise. (Aidspan)
  • Overcoming neglect and finding ways to manage and control NTDs is a priority. (MSF)
  • The African Union has secured an additional 400million vaccine doses as reported by Africa CDC Director, John Nkengasong. (Africa News | Medical Express)
  • Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine shown to give greater protection against severe forms of COVID-19 disease. (Bloomberg)
  • Heparin that targets coronavirus spikes protecting interaction with ACE2 receptors have been found to show promise in COVID-19 management. (Medical Express)
  • New COVID-19 variants fuelling Africa’s second wave of COVID-19 infections. (WHO Africa Regional Office)
  • The EU Commissioner Kyriakides issued a statement on deliveries of vaccines by AstraZeneca pointing at probable need for approval on exports to third countries. (European Commission | IFPMA)
  • Pharmaceutical companies continue to inch forward when it comes to addressing access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries, finds the 2021 Access to Medicine Index, published Tuesday 26 January, 2021. (Access To Medicines Index)
  • KAPI Leadership Pays Courtesy Visit to the Principal Secretary (PS), Ministry of Health to deliberate on regulatory concerns plaguing the industry, medicines prices, COVID-19 vaccination plans among other issues in the industry. (Press Release)

Thank You!!!

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Biopharmaceutical Companies Take Lead in COVID-19 Response in Kenya

As a membership organization driven by tenets of social responsibility and commitment to public health, in the wake of COVID-19 it is in our purview to drive a common agenda to flatten the curve of transmission, build concerted efforts to ensure uninterrupted supply of medicines, diagnostics and healthcare technologies.

George Onyango, Country Manager – GlaxoSmithKline handing over donation of surgical masks to KMPDU leadership

Additionally, our member companies have been in the forefront driving action through donations in kind and financially to curtail the economic impacts of this pandemic on the less fortunate in the society. Times of hardship are when you know your true compatriots and based on the responses we’ve seen among our members we are confident as a nation we’ll emerge victorious in the end. When we count our losses and learn from this pandemic, we hope we’ll have a robust, responsive and people-centric healthcare system.

During the peak infection period coupled with stringent containment measures our member companies were involved in different initiatives as outlined below:

  1. Johnson & Johnson – Through the Kenya COVID-19 Business Response Platform committed Kshs. 5 Million to the emergency response by the government in different interventions as was necessary through a common engagement platform.
  2. Reckitt Benckiser – Through the Kenya COVID-19 Business Response Platform donated products and services to the national response team to a tune of Kshs. 13 million i.e. Kshs. 10 million worth of soap and Kshs. 3.8 million for Media Tv for public awareness and sensitization.
  3. GlaxoSmithKline – Donated surgical masks worth Kshs. 3 million to frontline healthcare workers through the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) to contain infection of health workers following global shortage of PPEs.
  4. AstraZeneca – Donated 35,000 surgical masks to the government to equip healthcare workers in the different isolation facilities.
  5. Bayer East Africa – Provided free IEC materials and hand sanitizers. These included fliers and posters with relevant COVID-19 information to sensitize the public and communities within which we operate both to both the employees and members of the public. Donation of five (5) handwashing water tanks to the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) to encourage handwashing as a preventive measure against COVID-19. The company also supported Tenwek Hospital in Bomet County with assorted PPEs including masks and gowns as well as thermos-guns and hand sanitizers.
  6. Novartis – With COVID-19, attention on other medical conditions have been at stake. On this account, when the world was marking World Sickle Cell Disease, as part of contribution to health systems strengthening and promoting care to Sickle Cell Disease Patients, Novartis offered support to the Ministry of Health, Kenya in commemorating the day. The support went into development of guidelines for the management of sickle cell disease as reported by the Chief Administrative Secretary of Health, Dr Rashid Aman.
Bayer Team at Tenwek Hospital as they donated PPEs to the facility.

These among many other interventions that were coordinated by industry leaders played a key role in shaping the trajectory of the disease in the country.

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