Governments warns on counterfeit drugs

Nairobi, KENYA Friday 6, 2018 – The Government is taking stringent measures to ensure counterfeit drugs do not reach patients, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Health Sicily Kariuki said today after meeting pharmaceutical industry stakeholders at the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.

The CS said the government is going to be extra vigilant and is in the process of revising laws and fines that will be very punitive for illegal operators. ” We are conscious and we have to calibrate our regulatory ecosystem and deal with criminal elements if we have to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” she stressed.

The CS noted that pharmaceutical industry stakeholders have a role to play in the achievement of Universal Health coverage. “We have met, engaged and interacted in a very candid manner to see the role that you need to play in the health sector which is one of the four pillars to drive the economy in the next five years,” she stressed.

She urged the pharmaceutical industry to work with the government to achieve UHC. He noted that “UHC will become a reality if issues of access to medicines and affordability are addressed. This will not only be able to support ordinary Kenyans access health care but it will be able to do it in a sustainable manner,” she added

The CS said the Government has made a commitment to address issues of cost and shall ensure that medical commodities reaching the public are of good quality. She directed the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) to enhance market surveillance and be more vigilant to ensure that only legitimate outlets are allowed to sell medicines in the country. “There is no short cut in ensuring proper medicines reach the public,” she elaborated.

She noted the need for integration from the level of manufacturing to distribution and retail to ensure availability of drugs that are affordable to Kenyans.

The Chairman of Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, Dr. Louis Machogu reinstated the society committed to work with all government agencies and the Ministry of Health to address issues of medicine cost, stabilization to ensure medicines are affordable to patients.

“We are looking at how we can reduce cost building up from manufacturing to patients and we can do this by being available to patients for coaching,” he said. “As a society, we want to empower the patients with information before they even reach the hospital and before the patient gets the service they need and to ensure that whoever is attending to them is a professional,” he said.

Dr. Machogu also acknowledged that the biggest challenge the sector face is the health seeking behavior of the public and called upon members of the public to ensure they seek services from qualified people.