Govt in bid to toughen medicine policy to lower prices

Govt in bid to toughen medicine policy to lower prices

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Nairobi, KENYA: Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board together with other stakeholders in the health sector have started initiatives which will oversee lowering prices of imported medicine.

Speaking during stakeholders forum in Nairobi,  the board’s deputy registrar Dr Fred Sigoi says the government and stakeholders in health sector are formulating guidelines,  which will help propel parallel importation of medicines to make sure that medicines imported are safe and affordable.

“The parallel import of medicine is a loop hole, it is legal, but it is not regulated properly,We a now want to know where medicine is manufactured, we inspect when it’s coming in ,we also vet at port of entry ,we know the individual who brings that medicine and should be responsible in case of any eventuality.”Dr Sigoi said.

He said that currently loopholes on parallel importation are pretty open and there is need to seal them to avert incoming of counterfeit products and abuse of the pharmaceutical practice in the country.

The board says that the initiative is geared at proctecting the consumer from any form of exploitation in terms of pricing and authenticity of medicines.

“This is trying to balance commercial interest and public health interest which has to override commercial interest ,you get a product may be selling at 1,000 dollars here and in Tanzania the same product is selling at 500 dollars.” He said.

Dr Sigoi said that the regulations being worked on will be In place within three months.

He also indicated that by the end of this year, the board will roll out a system where the public will be able to send codes to help them ascertain prices of different medicines.