(2008; 60 pages)
Kenya published the first National Drug Policy (KNDP) in 1994, addressing important issues impacting on pharmaceutical services. However, there was no clear and sustainable strategy for its implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of its impact were minimal. External assessments of the pharmaceutical sub-sector, supported by development partners such as the World Bank and WHO, have highlighted the challenges that need to be addressed and made recommendations.
Various regional and international trends impact on pharmaceutical services in Kenya, and require elaboration of government commitments and policy directives: - growth and sophistication of the global pharmaceutical market and the local pharmaceutical industry, and Kenya’s growing participation in regional and international trade in pharmaceuticals. All these affect access to medicines by the population and shape investments and human resources development in the pharmaceutical sub-sector.
At the national level, ongoing comprehensive health sector reforms require concurrent reform of the pharmaceutical sub-sector, in order to fully realize health and development goals. The private sector continues to play an increasing role in pharmaceutical service delivery and out-of-pocket financing for medicines remains a barrier to access. The use of traditional medicines also requires special attention. Pharmaceutical services therefore need to be adequately re-defined, with regulatory mechanisms that respond to current and emerging needs and challenges.
The Government recognizes that access to essential medicines is a basic human right. Access to essential medicines on a sustainable basis is one target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to which Kenya is firmly committed. This revised policy aims to address the needs and trends in pharmaceutical service delivery and to ensure harmony with other health and development policies.
Overall, the Policy focuses on strengthening the management and delivery of pharmaceutical services through relevant legislative and institutional reforms; strengthening national institutions for medicines procurement, supply, regulation and quality control; developing and appropriately managing pharmaceutical human resources; and enhancing collaboration with other sectors and with partners.
This National Pharmaceutical Policy will facilitate the much-needed reform in the pharmaceutical sub-sector, towards achieving the policy goal of ensuring "…the provision to all Kenyans of efficient, effective pharmaceutical services that are sustainable, equitable, accessible and affordable with safe, efficacious and high quality medicines, which are appropriately used".
Finally it is important to note that the KNPP is not just a policy for pharmaceutical personnel. It is a national guide to effective health sector reform. Implementation of the Policy will require the full participation of all those with a stake in the correct development, management and use of medicines for the benefit of our people.