Kenya’s pharmaceutical industry which is valued in excess of Sh75 billion, is set to host more than 200 professionals, patient representatives and health providers for an inaugural meeting designed to institute more stringent measures aimed at enhancing the safety of healthcare consumers.
The two-day conference, planned for October 26 and 27 has attracted participants from multiple countries including Switzerland, the United States of America, South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Uganda and Tanzania among others.
Collectively titled the IFPMA East Africa Ethics and Business Integrity Days, the international conference will be taking place for the first time in East Africa and comes against the backdrop of the recent launch of a revised pharmaceutical industry Code of Practice.
It was first drawn up in 1981 and was the first of its kind for any sector. A living document that has been revised five times in recent decades, the Code of Practice ensures that practitioners in the pharmaceutical industry are governed by ethical standards in line with societal expectations.
Organised by the Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) in partnership with the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), the meeting is expected to move the needle towards a collective commitment by all Kenya’s pharmaceutical and other health sector players to set up a formal mechanism for better behavioural accountability.
“It builds on the previous successive years of developing an evolving code of practice in line with global standards espoused by more advanced economies that place a premium on patient safety as a key outcome of professional medical conduct,” explained Collins Kotonya, Chairman of the KAPI Ethics and Business Integrity Committee.
Kotonya said KAPI’s newest Code of Practice marks a fundamental shift from a rules-based code to a values-based code with several sections having been updated, including the introduction of a ban on gifts and promotional aids for prescription-based medicines.
He noted that the first day of the conference will be a Code Capacity Building Workshop while day two will be a stakeholder Outreach Forum.
The workshop, Kotonya said, is intended as hands-on, interactive training on the current IFPMA Code of Practice, facilitated by faculty of local, regional, and international IFPMA experts.
He added that during the stakeholder outreach forum, key stakeholders within the private and public sectors will sign a consensus on ethics and business integrity advancement within Kenya’s pharmaceutical industry.
Conference participants will be professionals within the pharmaceutical industry that are responsible for medical or commercial activities with Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) and Healthcare Organisations (HCOs).
These, Kotonya said, include Ethics and Compliance professionals, Medical and scientific advisors and directors, Personnel responsible for the development and certification of promotional materials, and Sales and marketing representatives.
By Catherine Muindi