Kenya Pharmaceutical Industry regulator-Pharmacy and Poisons Board PPB) –has launched three guidelines aimed at strengthening supply chain integrity and safe disposals of pharmaceutical products as it marks this year world Pharmacist Day.
Speaking during the launch, Ministry of Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr Rashid Aman, termed the Guidelines on Good Distribution Practices, Guidelines on Disposal of Pharmaceutical Waste and Guidelines on Transportation of Pharmaceuticals as major milestones in ensuring efficient and effective drug management circle in Kenya.
“Today marks a major milestone in policy formulation in the health sector with the launch of three guidelines,” Dr Rashid said adding, the guidelines on good distribution provide a wide range of requirements placed on pharmaceuticals.
September 25th is observed as the annual World Pharmacists Day. The year’s theme “Safe and effective medicines for all“ shows the important role pharmacists play in protecting patient safety through improved medicine use and reduced medication errors.
PPB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Fred Siyoi said the Board, in collaboration with the University of Nairobi, is working on a drug track and trace technology as the regulator intensifies efforts to safeguard the integrity of the drug supply chain.
“The Board is leveraging on drug testing mobile technology at the ports of entries to test all the drugs entering the country,” Siyoi added.
According to Dr. Siyoi, about 70 percent of the medicines used in the country are imported with local manufacturers filling up 30 percent of the drugs supplies.
Imported drugs, including donations, must also get an import permit from PPB to be able to circulate the drugs.
The CEO also observed that with the liberalization and globalization of trade in pharmaceuticals, falsified and substandard medicines have become a global health crisis.
He called for stakeholders’ collaborative effort in combating falsified products even as he announced increased PPB market surveillance.
“There is a very elaborate medical product registration system established that ensures that only safe, quality and efficacious products are granted market authorization. In addition, all the manufacturing sites have to be inspected to ensure that they comply with the requisite standards. Registered medicines have to be retained each year in order to continuously monitor them,” Dr Siyoi said.
He encouraged the public to use the health safety code to verify legitimacy of drug outlets and personnel operating by sending unique code to 21031.
Dr Siyoi added that PPB has stepped up its commitment to enforce good distribution practices to eliminate drug contamination during transportation and storage.
According to PPB, drugs can lose quality and efficacy because of bad distribution practices and storage conditions.