OFFICIAL KENYAN REPORT CALLS FOR REFERENCE PRICING
A report published by Kenya's Ministry of Health has called for the establishment of a reference pricing system for private sector drug prices. According to the survey, consumers are frequently overcharged for medicines, paying up to 17 times more for branded drugs than "internationally recognised" prices.
Kenya has at least a dozen drug manufacturing facilities, with the sector valued at around US$160mn, as well as over 600 registered pharmacies. However, normal market forces have failed to drive down prices as hoped.
Industry observers blame the situation on factors including taxes on raw materials and the lack of an official price guide for consumers. Local manufacturers claim production costs are boosted by problems with weak regulation and government purchasing, poor transport infrastructure, sporadic power supplies and a low quality water supply.
Consumer protection sources argue that the most significant problems lie at the lower end of the retail chain, where some pharmacists and illegal retail outlets reportedly take the opportunity to raise prices arbitrarily.