The Kenyan government has announced that it will not intervene in the increasingly bitter dispute between international drugmakers in the country and freelance drug importers. This is despite a recent government pledge to take action against the flourishing counterfeit medicines trade impacting Kenya's KES10bn (US$135.52mn) drug market.

The multinationals claim that the drug importers are dealing in parallel imports, which is only permitted when faced with epidemics such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. They also accuse them of trading sub-standard and counterfeit products whose safety cannot be proven.

However, the government has announced that its not interested in participating in what it considers to be a "trade war," adding that its only concern is that drugs entering the country are safe, effective and fully registered. Industry observers claim that the government's inactivity is a result of its desire to maintain the availability of cheap drugs in the country.