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Single agency to regulate Kenya's pharma industry

Health Secretary Sicily Kariuki
Health Secretary Sicily Kariuki. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The State will move to regulate the local pharmaceutical industry using a single agency in a bid to harmonise the sector, Health Secretary Sicily Kariuki has said.

“The government wants to align pharmaceutical requirements with international standards by having a single regulatory agency for all medical products and health technologies,” she said in a speech yesterday.

She said the move was also in line with decisions made by the Sectoral Council of East African Community Ministers of Health and the 71st World Health Assembly of the United Nations.

Currently, several bodies including the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) and the National Quality Control Board are engaged in the enforcement of standards.

Ms Kariuki, whose speech was read at a ceremony to mark the attainment of ISO 9001:2015 certification by PPB, cautioned against the possibility or rules becoming an obstacle to access to quality medicine and health technologies.

“Whereas the role of regulation is to safeguard public health, it should not be an impediment to access to health products and health technologies…The balance between access to medicines and regulation is key in achieving universal health coverage and the highest standards of health as envisaged in our constitution,” Ms Kariuki said.

She lauded the board for achieving the ISO certification, saying it was evidence that its services met globally accepted standards.

Director, State Department of the East African Community Alice Yalla said the government had reduced the time required to secure business permits to just one day.

“Thanks to the government’s efforts to make the process of doing business easier, you can now register your firm in just one day at the attorney general’s office. We are working to reduce the time taken to acquire property from 18 months to eight days,” said Dr Yalla.

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