The Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) – the representative body of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Kenya and member of International Federation Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) – has launched the first Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Industry in Kenya.
The code, which has been ratified by 27 KAPI members in consultation with global industry leaders and partners, outlines the principles and standards that will guide the practice of pharmaceutical organizations in Kenya by raising professionalism in the sector and protecting patient safety. The code will apply to KAPI member companies, their subsidiaries as well as their affiliates.
In his keynote address – delivered during the launch, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Dr. Cleopa Mailu said that the Code of Practice will help curb challenges that face the industry and increase transparency and accountability within the sector.
“The Ministry of Health is committed to benefiting patients by operating in a professional, ethical and transparent manner to ensure the appropriate use of medicines and support the provision of high quality healthcare,” Dr. Mailu said.
The aim of the Code is to ensure that the promotion of medicines to health professionals and other relevant decision makers is carried out within a robust framework to support high quality patient care. Furthermore, the Code also sets standards relating to the provision of information to patients and the public as well as relationships with patient groups.
Speaking at the launch, Dr. William Mwatu – KAPI’s Chairperson – pointed out that, provided that the industry requirements of the Code are met, working with patients and patient organizations can bring significant public health benefits.
“Improved public health depends on the interactions within the entire medical community – from the researcher to the health worker to the doctor and finally the patient. Since these relationships are built on mutual trust, it is imperative that pharmaceutical companies act in an ethical and professional manner in order to earn the confidence of their stakeholders. As industry representatives, we believe it is important that collaboration with physicians and other health care providers continues and thrives,” he said.
To ensure that these collaborative relationships meet high ethical standards, Mwatu added that they must be conducted with appropriate transparency and in compliance with applicable laws, regulations and government guidance.
John Wanyama, a member of KAPI and Chair of KAPI’s compliance sub-committee – urged pharmaceutical companies to fully embrace and adopt the Code of Practice in order to ensure the delivery of better health and medical services.
“Healthcare professionals and the patients should be able to hold us fully accountable for our professional actions,” stressed Wanyama.