On Tuesday 26th January 2021 the Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) executive board led by the Chairperson, Willy Soriney paid a courtesy visit to the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Health Madam Susan Mochache. This was part of the associations’ stakeholder engagement mechanisms aimed at fostering collaborative spirit for the advancement of the health agenda for the Kenyan people.
KAPI is a membership based association representing research and development based biopharmaceutical companies in the country and plays a critical in role in promoting efficiencies in the pharmaceutical industry through policy advocacy, thought leadership, market intelligence and promotion of ethical business practices in the sector. These are geared towards ensuring Kenyans have access to high quality, safe and efficacious health products and technologies.
The discussions with the PS centred on prevailing concerns in the sector ranging from COVID-19 vaccines, taxation and pricing of medicines, local manufacturing of medicines and regulatory landscape. The association through its membership committed to collaborate with and support the ministry in its COVID-19 vaccine procurement and deployment strategy to ensure we served our social and moral obligation to our people.
Focusing on the cost of medicines which were noted to be higher than other countries in the region, it was noted that as a country we have unfavourable tax regimes that work against our common commitment to lower prices of medicines. It was noted that the Ministry of Health had taken a lead role in streamlining these with the establishment of a special committee spearheading the discussions to develop a plan that will ensure Kenyans can access safe, effective and quality healthcare products and technologies affordably as espoused in the UHC decree.
COVID-19 exposed shortfalls in the pharmaceutical industry especially with regard to reliance on imports of health products. This has brought attention and focus on promotion of local manufacturing as a strategy to secure supplies for the country. Acknowledging the need to support local manufacturing, KAPI leadership pointed out on the need for a strategic approach driven by incentives for local production and a favourable regulatory environment with stability & predictability. These are key drivers to investment and without investment it’s impossible to have a favourable local pharmaceutical industry.
The ministry commended such engagements acknowledging the critical role that the private sector has in supporting governments in realizing their agenda. “National development is a collaborative and joint agenda and the proactive approach by the association to drive a futuristic and sustainable agenda in the industry with the government is an indication of the ability to steer clear of the current hurdles and emerge victorious” stated the PS.