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KPDA warns of looming shortages and price increase in pharmaceuticals

KPDA has been engaged in alternative  sourcing of health technologies  and products from international markets   Since 2005.

The Kenya Pharmaceutical Distributors Association (KPDA) has issued a warning about looming shortages and price increases in pharmaceuticals and other health technologies.

According to KPDA Chairman Dr. Isaac Muruchu, unless the government, through the ministry of trade, intervenes and regulates the prices of pharmaceuticals, there is a likelihood of product shortages and an abnormal price increase in the market, which will in turn render many Kenyans unable to afford medication.

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Dr. Murichu also pointed out the increase in the number of cartels in the Kenyan market with no price control, which has left Kenyan patients at the mercy of the drug importation companies, which dictate the retail prices of medicines.

“One way is to remove all cartels controlling prices and allow market forces to dominate. More players should be allowed in the market so that supplies can exceed demand and prices will automatically fall.

The government also needs to come in and regulate the prices of medicines and other health technologies.

“No government in its right sense can allow the health of its people to be controlled by cartels who want to sell lifesaving medicines at the price they deem fit for profit repatriation back into their countries.

Equally, the government should revamp our local manufacturing pharmaceutical firms so that this country can be self-sufficient,” said Dr. Murichu in his statement.

“KPDA remains committed to ensuring that Kenya will continue to have access to affordable, safe, and efficacious medicines through parallel importation and that the Kenya Kwanza government should support the KPDA initiative in ensuring that this happens,” added Dr. Murichu.

KPDA has been engaged in alternative  sourcing of health technologies  and products from international markets   Since 2005.

“In Kenya, the government does not regulate the cost of medications, hence these businesses set the price of their products based on their own evaluations. Since there is no price regulation in Kenya, they view it as a primary market, and as a result, they will even price their products to make up for losses they have suffered in other countries.”emphasized Dr Murichu

According to Dr Mirichu this has resulted into high cost of  drugs and medicines ,as  pharmaceutical costs in Kenya are more than 500% to 700% more than they are in other nearby markets and even in other nations like the UK, Germany, the US, and India.

“Medicines are not Luxuries; they are lifesaving commodities and should not be seen as normal commodities of trade. The stakeholders, KPDA, KAPI, and PPB agreed on the 2019 guidelines for parallel importation. The said guidelines were gazette by the former CS for health Sicily Kariuki. Up-to-date, they have never been implemented. KPDA has been more than willing to comply with the said guidelines for the establishment of a clear and transparent process.” added Dr Murichu

The association is calling for urgent intervention and attention from the government to regulate prices of  pharmaceuticals to ensure Kenyans are protected from money minded individuals in importation and sale of medicines and drugs  in the country.

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