Kenya Counts On Strong Regulations, Technology To Weed Out Counterfeit Medicine

Kenya’s Ministry of Health on Wednesday said it would strengthen the regulatory framework and invest in technology to weed out substandard and fake pharmaceutical products in the country.
Sicily Kariuki, Cabinet Secretary for Health, said government was banking on enhanced regulation of the pharmaceutical industry, alongside public awareness, to strengthen the fight against counterfeit drugs and medical equipment.
Kariuki stated this while speaking at a 3-day pharmaceutical conference and expo in Nairobi, where participants were drawn from health-care providers, regulators and drug manufacturers across the country.
“Access to quality and affordable medical supplies is an indicator of a functioning health system.
“Unfortunately, high prevalence of substandard and falsified medicine present a huge threat to patients’ safety.
“We are, therefore, implementing global best practices to ensure drugs prescribed to patients are safe and efficacious,’’ she added.
Kariuki says Kenya is on the front-line of promoting ethical standards in the pharmaceutical industry in the face of soaring malpractices, skills gap and sluggish technology adoption.
“We have a robust pharmaceutical policy, essential drug lists, clinical guidelines and protocols for prescription of drugs,” she said.
Kariuki noted that the launch of an online portal for tracking and reporting of fake medicine has reduced their circulation in the market.
“Besides reforming the pharmaceutical industry, we also intend to tap into technologies and innovations to ensure Kenyans have access to safe, quality and efficacious medicine,” she said.
Fred Siyoi, Chairman of Pharmacy and Poisons Board, said regulatory agencies have been conducting regular inspections at all drugs supply chains to weed out counterfeits.
“The licensing of drugs dispensing outlets is now more stringent and those, who flout the rules by stocking counterfeits are either blacklisted or arraigned in courts,” said Siyoi.

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