Sessional Paper on National Pharmaceutical Policy, June 2010 - Kenya (Reforming the Pharmaceutical Sector to Ensure Equitable Access to Essential Medicines and Essential Health Technologies for All Kenyans)
(2010; 68 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 in the pharmaceutical sector, so as to attain national health and economic goals, in particular to ensure equitable access to Essential Medicines 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 pharmaceutical 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 pharmaceutical investments and human resources development, and impact on access to essential medicines by the population.

This Policy has been developed in the context of Kenya’s Vision 2030, the Health Policy Framework and the relevant health sector strategic plans; as well as trends in regional integration. It provides for broad restructuring of pharmaceutical governance structures, including the necessary de-linking, upgrading and decentralization, for better responsiveness to current and future demands. It further outlines the health and development goals; objectives and targets; and key strategies to guide its implementation. Implementation of this Policy will be through a multi-sectoral and integrated approach. In this regard, the Government will provide the necessary enabling environment and infrastructure for its implementation; and collaborate with the faith-based, NGO and private sector players; communities and civil societies; as well as other governments, and relevant regional and international bodies. In particular, restructuring of governance and institutional structures will be prioritized, through enactment of relevant legal instruments, to facilitate implementation of the various strategies and attainment of the Policy Vision.

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