Pharmaceutical Industry Diagnostic Report, 2020
Nairobi Kenya, 10 March 2021 – The Government today launched the Pharmaceutical Industry Diagnostic Report, 2020 to make the sector more competitive.
The Kenya Pharmaceutical Industry Diagnostic Report 2020 highlights and examines gaps, challenges, and opportunities in Kenya’s pharmaceutical industry and recommends steps to spur the industry’s growth and make it more competitive.
The study which was commissioned by the Government of Kenya through the Ministries of Health and Industrialization and Trade & Enterprise development in collaboration with the International Finance Collaboration (IFC) found that although Kenya has competitive incentives for the pharmaceutical sector and a very good rating on the Ease of Doing Business index manufacturers are heavily dependable on imported inputs, coupled with higher cost of logistics, utilities, and packaging materials.
The study also revealed that Kenya has a shortage of well qualified personnel in industrial pharmacology, which has necessitated over-reliance on expatriates resulting in high labour costs and recommends a review of the legal landscape involving pharmaceutical manufacturing, development of an Inclusive Coordination Framework and political ownership and support among others
The report was launch by the Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Betty Maina in a virtual meeting attended by the Chief Administrative Secretary for Health, Dr. Rashid Aman.
The launch of the report comes at an opportune time when there are serious global disruptions in the supply chain of essential health products and technologies as a result of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Rashid said a coordinated approach is required through a package of interventions to support the Kenya’s effort to enhance the role of private sector in supplying good quality and affordable medicines to the Kenyan market as well as the regional market.
Some of the key interventions he recommeded include building capacity for institutions responsible for training to address the skills gap and meet the demand for skilled work force; leveraging on science, innovation and technology to improve products complexity and increase in financing for product research and development (R&D).
“In addition, we need to strengthen framework and investment in industrial infrastructure like the special economic zones as well as reducing barriers to entry and competition in pharmaceutical manufacturing,” he said.
Rashid assured that the Government will endeavor to strengthen regulatory landscape as well as addressing the issues of shortage of skilled work force in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector.
“As you are aware manufacturing has been identified as a priority in the big four agenda and one of the key sub-sectors targeted for growth is the pharmaceutical industry. This makes it a nexus for the UHC which is the other component of the big four agenda,” he added.
The government of Kenya has established Export processing zones (EPZs), which are meant to create an enabling environment for export-oriented investments and promote and facilitate such investments. There are 40 gazetted zones in Kenya at different stages of development. In addition, the government has established one-stop shops to streamline processes and help organizations seeking to set up businesses in Kenya. “As a government, we encourage investors to seize these opportunities,” Dr. Rashid said.
To ensure Kenyans have improved access to health services, Rashid said the government has zero-rated imports of raw materials and finished products of pharmaceuticals and also seeks to reduce the proportion of imported medical products to support local manufacturing.
“We are anticipating that the demand for medical products is expected to rise in the coming years due to increased purchasing power by citizens, increased literacy and health-seeking behavior on account of better access to information, and the roll-out of the Universal healthcare coverage by the government,” he said.
To meet the demand, structured collaboration of stakeholders in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector is required he noted.