Supporting Local Manufacturers to achieve UHC


Cosmos Pharmaceuticals Limited held a dinner on 7th June 2018 at Sankara Hotel in Westland to discuss on contribution of local manufacturing in the reduction of medicine costs. The dinner was attended by Kenya Healthcare Federation(KHF) members and graced by Ethiopian Private Health Facilities Employers Association (EPHFEA).

Research shows that imported pharmaceutical products especially drugs, cost much higher in the countries importing them than in the countries of manufacture. Moreover, diabetic patients and hypertensive patients are not able to keep up with the medication because of the high cost.

Every year, around 40 million people die from diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory disease worldwide, with more than three quarters of these deaths occurring in low and middle – income countries. (World Health Organization).

“The high cost of medical care in Kenya is partly due to the high cost of medication. The cost of drugs in Kenya can make up an average of 45% of patients’ hospital bills.” Rolando Sateke, CEO COSMOS Pharmaceuticals Limited. “Almost half of medical claims are going into buying drugs,” Catherine Karori, head of medical at Jubilee Insurance.

Mr. Rolando Satzke CEO,COSMOS Pharmaceutical ,presenting during the Dinner.

“With good and well executed drug policies we can make huge savings and still deliver high quality care for everybody. Wider use of generic drugs will result in significant reduction in the cost of drugs; the savings will be passed on to the patient. Insurance companies will also save money and in turn give more affordable premiums for patients to get treatment at a cheaper cost”  Dr. William Mwatu, former chairman of Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI)

In UK, the rate of written generic drugs was at 71% in the year 2000 and the rate of prescribed generic drugs at 52% in 2007.Compared to the written generic drugs which was at 83% in the year 2007 and the  rate of prescribed generic drugs at 64% in 2007.

The World Health Organization recommends Member States embrace generic medicine in moderating their pharmaceutical expenditure. However, research shows that the total use of original brands in Kenya is at 43% while generic is at 57% (IQVIA MAT Sep/2017 Total Private Market). If Kenya looks into achieving Universal Healthcare Coverage, then the high cost of medicine should be addressed. Supporting local manufacturers which make the drugs more affordable and accessible.

In his remarks, Mr. Rolando Satzke CEO, COSMOS Pharmaceuticals, emphasized that, local manufacturers can be supported in the following ways; 1,quote public sector purchases to local manufacturing, 2,inrease retentions on imports if generics are manufactured locally, 3,set preferential prices for locally manufactured products in public tenders, 4,restrict the insurance reimbursements for originator expensive brands and 5,offer tax and loan incentives to encourage local pharmaceutical production. Additionally, there is need to regulate trade margins to avoid profit generation on high priced products and agree on reachable roadmap to achieve certified quality manufacturing.

Dr. Dawit Moges from Ethiopia, applauded Mr. Rolando for the great work he is doing in advocating for the support of local manufacturers. He emphasized that once this is implemented, healthcare will be made more affordable and accessible.

“Local manufacturing of qualitative generic medicines leads to healthcare costs reduction contributing the UHC financial sustainability.”  Mr. Rolando Satzke CEO, COSMOS Pharmaceuticals.

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