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Pharmaceutical Firms stops Importing Drugs

Pharmaceutical drugs
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The Republic of Kenya will in no time face a health crisis as pharmaceutical companies have stopped importing drugs. The companies stopped importing following a conflict between importers and the government.

The chairman of the Kenyan Pharmaceutical Distributors Association Kamamia Murichu said the companies that import and distribute medicines and pharmaceutical products have all stopped importing. Furthermore, he said until the government decides to cancel the new directives that subjects’ products to double inspection, they will not be importing.

Over the weekend, more than five containers of medical and pharmaceutical products were sent back to India because the consignment did not have the PVoC. The new directives placed by the Kenyan government will see the country running out of drugs and all other medical products in a matter of time.

Although Kenya has about 35 local drug manufacturers, importation from other countries meets the bulk of local demand. According to data from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB), the industry brought in pharmaceutical imports worth Sh72.8 billion ($728 million) last year.

New Pharmaceutical Import Regulation

pharmaceutical-firms-stops-importing-drugs
Pharmaceutical firms stop importing drugs
Image: JACK OWUOR

The government introduced new regulations through the Ministry of Trade. This regulation requires goods to have the Pre-export Verification of Conformity (PVoC). The PVoC is an assessment certificate which is issued to exporting countries before the products are brought into the country.

From October 1, 2019, every importer must have their goods pre-inspected before leaving the country of export (PVoC).

This pre-inspection will cost USD $250 (Sh25,000) per product and will be done by Kenya Bureau of Standards appointed companies like Bureau Veritas, SGS or Intertek.