The Government, through the Finance Bill 2023, will offer tax exemptions on raw materials used to manufacture pharmaceutical and biopharmaceuticals to encourage establishment of drugs and vaccine manufacturing plants in the country.
Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Wafula said the move will reduce the cost of vaccines and drugs further reducing the cost of medication.
Speaking at Shinyalu during a tree planting exercise, Wafula said the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with an American Biotechnology firm, Moderna, who are ready to start construction of the first vaccine manufacturing plant.
“The government will also offer VAT exemption on any rights and any benefits that are derived from manufacturing of vaccines,” she noted.
“Many people died during the Covid 19 pandemic because we did not have vaccines on time. So the government has also established an institution that will ensure we produce our own vaccines in the future,” she added.
The CS asked leaders in the country to avoid blanket condemnation of the finance Bill forgetting about the benefits which also include the reduction of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) contribution from Sh500 to Sh300 to make it affordable to low-income earners.
“Isn’t that not beneficial, so why are people talking about the negative forgetting about the positives in the finance bill. Let us read it, let us internalise it and we ensure we get the good things out of this bill,” she added.
The CS also asked Kenyans to continue adhering to high standards of personal hygiene and sanitation as they did during the outbreak of Covid 19 pandemic. “The rate of respiratory disease infections dropped during the Covid 19 pandemic due to strict adherence to hygiene,” she pointed out.
By Moses Wekesa