Kenya steps up surveillance of substandard, falsified medical products


Kenya’s health officials on Monday announced that it has stepped up surveillance of substandard and falsified medical products in the country.

Jackson Kioko, chairman of Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) said that the government has developed an elaborate drug registration system that ensures that only safe, quality and efficacious products are registered.

“We are analyzing drugs at national laboratories to ensure that they comply with the label claims,” Kioko told journalists in Nairobi during the launch of PBB strategic plan 2020-2025.

Kioko said that medicine regulation has recently become more critical with the liberalization and globalization of trade in pharmaceuticals that has also opened the market for falsified and substandard medicines across the international marketplace.

The official said the online services that were adopted by the board two years ago have increased the level of transparency, traceability of documents and accountability, thus making it easy to track and implement international standards.

The system he said has helped report suspected poor-quality medicines and suspected adverse drug reactions.

“We want to remind consumers that the safest pharmacies are accredited by PPB and the most trusted and respected means for the public to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate drug sellers is to use the health safety code which is displayed in all registered pharmacies,” he added.

Kioko noted that the government is putting emphasis on patient-centered pharmacy practice as well as service to the difficult to reach as part of meeting the government’s Universal Health Coverage (UHC) policy.

Rashid Aman, chief administrative secretary in the ministry of health said that medical products and technologies are critical in the prevention of morbidity and mortality of patients.

“It is paramount that all efforts are put in place to ensure that Kenyans get access to quality, safe and efficacious medicines and medical products,” Kioko added.

The official commended PBB for carrying out post-marketing surveillance monitoring of medicines on anti-malarials, antiretroviral, tuberculosis, antibiotics and reproductive health products.

He said that the strategic plan will usher in a new era for the PPB and positions the board to be a leader in an interconnected and highly globalized industry that links pharmaceutical research, products, trade, personnel and services.

Kenya imports 70 percent of the medicines used in the country with the remaining amount being produced locally.

The imported products, including donations, must all get an import permit from PPB for them to get into the country. Enditem

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