February 2016 DailyNation;The government has been urged to invest in the pharmaceutical industry by setting up a manufacturing plant that will bring down the cost of medication for Kenyans.
The Registrar of the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, Dr Kipkerich Koskei, said Kenya has the “potential” of becoming a drug manufacturing hub not only for the region, but the continent.
Dr Koskei said: “We already have 36 local drug manufacturing companies but more are needed so that we can improve access of quality drugs for Kenyans. This will be beneficial in creating jobs and improving our economy.”
He spoke on Wednesday in Nairobi during the Third Africa Pharmaceutical Summit that hosted more than 70 pharmaceutical companies and over 1, 500 participants from across the world. The summit ends on Thursday.
Adding: “By today, the summit will come up with a document with recommendations that we will use to convince the leadership to adopt the recommendations from this convening. It will also inform partners and interested parties on the potential of investing in industry.”
Kenya contributes nearly Sh65 billion in global pharmaceutical market, according to the registrar.
The summit has brought investors who will provide “Kenya with a competitive pharmaceutical industry thus expanding access to quality and affordable medicines,” said Dr Koskei, while addressing a panel in the two-day conference.
Other issues in the agenda include substandard drugs and counterfeit drugs in the market.
This years’ theme is “Building Competitiveness and enhancing markets”, and will see companies from Africa and Internationally known brands showcase innovation and new products in the sector. It is organised by the PharmaAfrica Ltd.
According to the African Development Bank, the continent has a booming demand for drugs and medicine that is expected to raise up to Sh4 trillion as early as 2020.