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Plant Set To Cut Medicine Prices:
In Bangladesh, a company has just announced the plan to construct a KSh7.5 billion pharmaceutical production center in Kenya. Located on a 16-acre piece of land along the Export Processing Zone on the River Athi, the new plant will create over two billion medicine tablets and another 60 million bottles of medicinal liquid every year for both import and export in Africa. These newly produced medicines are aimed to start to produce in 5 years from now and will be aimed to treat the continent’s HIV epidemic and AIDS,malaria, tuberculosis, cardiovascular conditions, and psychotic-based conditions.
According to Tapan Chowdhury, the managing director of Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd, the plant will assist in Kenya’s drive to cut down on its reliance on imported drugs, which has cost the country billions of dollars every year. Mr. Chowdhury states that Square Pharmaceuticals see the chance in taking on all obstacles that have limited people’s access to affordable drugs that are of top quality while promoting better public health in the country, With a local pharmaceutical production center there, he believes that Kenya and the whole Eastern part of the continent can get better reach of quality medicine that is inexpensive. The goal for them is that local pharmaceutical production will cut costs of all drugs up to 40 per cent. Besides the obvious plus of job creation, according to the World Health Organization, the local production of medicine in Third World countries is a strong option to tackle the low quantity of affordable medicines.
The announcement of the new plant in Kenya comes after the 2017-2027 East African Regional Manufacturing Plan of Action was passed with the support of national agencies from East African Community (EAC) member states, such as Uganda, Rwanda, and South Sedan, to purchase half of medications locally. Mr. Chowdhury stated that the production plant should be up and running by sometime next year which would estimate 1,500 Kenyan to receive direct employment. Half of the products is expected to be exported to other African countries, also struggling with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Foreign direct investment, like Square Pharmaceuticals, will be important in the making of local production of medicines.
With this new production center, there will be major benefits such as the insert of technology and growing demand in education and training. Dr. Jacinta Wasike, the head of inspection and enforcement at Kenya’s Pharmacy and Poisons Board, said that currently local producers can meet nearly 30 per cent of annual demand of Kenya’s needed medicines. Recently, Dr. Wasike stated that the remaining gap is filled by $600 million (Sh61.9 billion) worth of imports, with an average growth of 12 per cent in the last three years. This will sure benefit Kenya and its neighbors in expanding continental access in live-saving drugs.
“We will be involved in quality assurance and overseeing the production to ensure the entire process is carried out according to accepted global and local specifications and guaranteed maximum safety levels for patients when used,” she said.
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