NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya on Monday
launched a 75 million U.S. dollar plant to manufacture essential
medicine amid a drive to tame a rising import bill estimated at
600 million dollars annually.
Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, said the
plant to be set up by Bangladesh-based Square Pharmaceuticals
Limited is expected to reduce the cost of drugs and boost health
care services in the country.
“The construction of
a local pharmaceutical manufacturing plant will bring
significant industrial benefits such as technology transfer and
improve access to quality medicine to combat our rising disease
burden,” said Mohamed.
He revealed that the
plant to be located on the outskirts of the capital Nairobi will
produce 2 billion tablets and 60 million bottles of liquid
medicine annually for the local market and for export across the
He noted the Kenyan
government has come up with regulatory incentives to attract
investments in the pharmaceutical industry, whose growth has
stagnated against a backdrop of under-financing and skills gap.
Mohamed, the local manufacturing sector can only meet 28 percent
of demand for essential medicine to treat communicable diseases
like HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis as well as lifestyle
diseases that have spiked in recent times.
“We now have 35
registered drugs manufacturing company in the country and
intends to attract additional investments in this sector to
achieve the goal of universal health coverage,” said Mohamed.
Managing Director of Square Pharmaceuticals, said 50 percent of
pharmaceutical products to be manufactured at the Nairobi plant
will be exported in the regional market.