Sessional Paper No 4 of 2012 on National Pharmaceutical Policy, July 2012 - Kenya (Reforming the Pharmaceutical Sector to Ensure Equitable Access to Essential Medicines and Essential Health Technologies for All Kenyans)
(2012; 103 pages)


This Policy, to be known as the Kenya National Pharmaceutical Policy (KNPP) succeeds the Kenya National Drug Policy (KNDP) of 1994. It builds on the strengths of the KNDP, and expands the scope by capturing the complexities and dynamics of the pharmaceutical sector, and defining a policy framework that is integrated within overall government policy framework. The Policy is a guide for reforms that are necessary to be undertaken on pharmaceuticals, so as to attain national health and economic goals, in particular, equitable access to essential medicines, health products and technologies for the population.

The Policy is premised on the principles of human rights, good governance, partnerships, effective regulation and international collaboration. The Policy upholds fundamental human rights, in particular the right to health, including the right to access essential medicines. It defines the scope of essential medicines, and outlines key strategies to ensure that they are available and affordable; that they meet defined standards of quality, efficacy and safety; and that they are appropriately utilized.

The Policy recognizes that the pharmaceutical sector is a distinct economic entity, with multi-dimensional aspects that have a direct impact on the health and safety of the population, as well as on the national economy, international trade and cooperation. Therefore, enhanced government focus, institutional and regulatory strengthening and development of specialized technical skills are critical for the development of this sector. Regional and international trends continue to impact on the sector in Kenya, such as growth of the local industry; the country’s role in regional and international trade in pharmaceuticals; technological advancements in the pharmaceutical industry; and the global focus on control and elimination of diseases. All these factors shape the direction of sector investments and human resources development, and impact on access to essential health products and technologies by the population.

This Policy has been developed in the context of Kenya’s Vision 2030, the Kenya Health Policy (2012-2030) and the relevant health sector strategic plans; as well as trends in regional integration. It provides for broad restructuring of governance structures for HPT, including the necessary de-linking, upgrading and decentralization, and alignment with health sector orientations. It further outlines the health and development goals; objectives and targets; and key strategies to guide its implementation.

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