(Xinhua) -- The umbrella of
pharmacists in Kenya on Thursday decried the high
incidences of unregulated medicines in the country after
a market study report unearthed the existence of 8
percent prevalence of unregulated medicinal brands in
The study, which was commissioned
by the Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI),
reveals such products, unlike those imported through the
official channels, pose grave danger to the patients
using them as their efficacy and Quality remains
"Following the study, KAPI is optimistic that these
findings will serve as a basis for broad discussion
among stakeholders, to further enhance the regulation,
while raising awareness among the general public," KAPI
Chairperson Anastasia Nyalita said.
The study was undertaken among 160 practicing
retailers through interviews and literature reviews with
purchases for 543 products conducted in 326 retail
outlets in all the major towns in Kenya.
The study was conducted by pharmaceutical applied
researchers from the University of Nairobi School of
Pharmacy, focused on nine popular medicine brands and
provides a representative sample for a wider market
Unregulated medicines are those that have entered the
market through irregular channels and have not undergone
the necessary regulatory scrutiny and market conformity
by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.
Nyalita called for an inter-agency management program
and also petitioned the Pharmacy and Poisons Board to
consider enhancing its market surveillance activities
and fully utilize digital technologies to track
shipments and identify unregulated products to ensure
that all products available in the Kenyan market are
She said in order to curb the prevalence of such gray
products, KAPI has beefed up its market surveillance
efforts and will continue to undertake wider studies to
ascertain the full extent of the current challenge in
conjunction with the Ministry of Health.
The research’s principal investigator, Joel Lehmann,
said that among the sample size, the most affected was a
product used to treat high blood pressure.
"For one of the products sampled, the study
established that almost 38 percent of the samples
purchased for purposes of the study had entered Kenya
through an unofficial channel," Lehman said.
He said the products present a greater risk of
deficiencies and poor efficacy due to potentially
incorrect storage by middle-men, product packaging
intended for other climates, and languages that are not
understood in Kenya including Arabic, Turkish and
The report comes after the World Customs Organization
(WCO) and the International Institute for Research
Against Counterfeit Medicines (IRACM) recently announced
plans to intensify the fight against illicit and
counterfeit drugs in Africa.
The plans by the two organizations are based on the
results of their fourth common initiative in the fight
against fake medicines in African continent after a
study they commissioned established that the number of
illicit and potentially dangerous pharmaceutical product
seizures has reached dramatic proportions, with almost
900 million counterfeit and illicit medicines being
seized within the continent.
Kenya launches new
strategy to combat cancer amid rising deaths
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s ministry of health in
conjunction with multilateral partners and industry on
Friday launched a five year national cancer control
strategy that seeks to rejuvenate the war against a
disease that claims 27,000 lives in the country
Cabinet Secretary for Health, Dr Cleopa Mailu said
the comprehensive strategy focuses on targeted
investments in diagnostics, public awareness, research
and palliative care to reduce the burden of cancer in
"The 2017-2022 national cancer strategy aims to
inject vitality in public education, early screening and
comprehensive care for patients to avert deaths," Mailu
said in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of
Medical Services, Dr Jackson Kioko.
The East African nation has in the recent past
grappled with a spike in cancer cases linked to rapid
urbanization, sedentary lifestyles, pollution and
physical inactivity among the population.
Mailu said the new cancer strategy whose five
strategic pillars focus on early detection,
surveillance, palliative care, increased financing and
research will hasten attainment of an ambitious goal to
eliminate the disease.
"We are taking a radical approach to reduce cancer
mortalities in the country and will harness the power of
partnerships to finance implementation of the new cancer
control strategy," said Mailu.
He added that Kenya has domesticated a global
strategy on prevention of non-communicable diseases that
include cancers that are currently straining the
healthcare infrastructure in the country.
Cancer is the third leading cause of deaths in Kenya
after infectious and cardiovascular diseases.
Statistics from the ministry of health indicates that
Kenya records over 40,000 cancer cases annually and the
number could rise against a backdrop of lifestyle
changes, environmental pollution and low awareness
levels in the general public.
The Head, Department of Non-Communicable Diseases in
the Ministry of Health, Dr Joseph Kibachio said that
Kenya aims to set precedence in cancer prevention and
care through investments in diagnostic equipment,
advanced treatment, research and public education.