Quality-Assured Pharmacies Improving Healthcare for People with Low Incomes in Kenya

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Quality-Assured Pharmacies Improving Healthcare for People with Low Incomes in Kenya

Pharmnet® joins BCtA with a commitment to increase number and reach of accredited pharmacies

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.@Pharmnet_KE joins @BCtAInitiative to provide 27M low-income Kenyans w access to affordable medicines by 2017 http://bit.ly/1QbYlVb
Friday, June 17, 2016 - 2:05pm

CONTENT: Press Release

New York/Nairobi, June 17, 2016 /3BL Media/ – Pharmnet®, a franchise network of licensed private pharmacies, has joined the Business Call to Action with a commitment to engage 3,000 pharmacies in its quality-assured network and train 9,000 pharmacy staff by 2017. The network will also provide business skills training to 3,000 pharmacy owners in order to help them build and run their pharmacies profitably. Through these efforts, Pharmnet®, which is owned and operated by the Kenya Pharmaceutical Association (KPA), will be able to provide 27 million low-income Kenyan consumers with access to high-quality affordable medicines by 2017.

According to the Private Sector Innovation Programme for Health (PSP4H), only 4,000 of the country’s 12,000 pharmacies are licensed by Kenya’s Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB). As a result, consumers cannot be confident of the quality, authenticity or value of the medicines they purchase. In addition, PSP4H estimates that approximately 50 percent of the country’s population earns between KSh 500 and KSh 1000 per day (between US$5 and US$10), which leaves them particularly vulnerable if they become ill.

“Pharmacies are the first points of contact for a majority of Kenyans seeking medical care. Unfortunately, access to affordable, safe drugs is a major challenge in Kenya – the result of a highly fragmented and inadequately regulated retail pharmacy sector, counterfeit and substandard drugs in the market, and the proliferation of unlicensed outlets operated by unqualified personnel,” said Chief Executive Officer Jesse Kirowo. “Ensuring that pharmacies stock quality medicines that are dispensed by qualified pharmaceutical personnel will greatly improve health outcomes for low-income Kenyans. We are pleased to have our inclusive business recognized by the Business Call to Action.”

The KPA is a professional group of regulated pharmaceutical technologists with a membership of 7,500 – of which 3,200 are community pharmacists who either own or manage their stores. The association accounts for about two thirds of all retail pharmacies in Kenya.

Pharmnet® is being implemented by Nairobi Techpharm Limited, a KPA company formed to provide association members with the business skills and marketing efforts appropriate for their consumer markets. It also includes a pooled procurement component supported by essential medicine manufacturers and mainstream pharmaceutical distributors, who offer products and logistics.

The criteria for enrollment in Pharmnet® are carefully aligned with the government standards. Pharmacies must also meet additional requirements, which are based on KPA’s own internal practices. For example, pharmacies must be owned and run by licensed pharmaceutical technologists who receive training in the associations’ quality standards, franchise requirements and an audit tool to ensure compliance; peer-group clusters provide support. While membership entails a small commitment fee, once the training is complete, participating stores are provided with Pharmnet’s® trademark blue and white signage indicating that they have been accredited by KPA. There are already more than 250 Pharmnet®-branded pharmacies in Nairobi, Mombasa and other counties that participated in the pilot.

“Illness, no matter how slight, can have a disproportionately destabilizing impact on the lives and livelihoods of poor people. Pharmnet’s® work plays an important role in addressing issues of accessibility and quality in response to the needs and demands of low-income people,” said Paula Pelaez, BCtA’s Project Manager. “We are pleased to welcome the company to BCtA with this important initiative.”

For further information:

Business Call to Action: Tatiana Bessarabova at Tatiana.bessarabova@undp.org

Pharmnet®: Jesse Kirowo: Jesse.kirowo@techpharm.co.ke

Membership in the Business Call to Action does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.

About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, the Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)UK Department for International DevelopmentUS Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat. For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.

About Pharmnet®: Pharmnet® continues to bring hope to the hundreds of thousands of low income Kenyans who are hitherto predisposed to the vagaries of dangerous medicines, handled by non-professionals. We look forward to the day when all pharmacies in the Country will be branded and will be providing quality assured products at an affordable cost. The hope of delivering this promise to Kenya and beyond gives us strength day by day, and the reassuring recognition from the various players in this health space helps us move forward confidently. For more information, please visit www.techpharm.co.ke or on Twitter at @pharmnet_ke.

Keywords: Health & Healthcare | Healthcare Innovation | Kenya | Pharma News, Research & Solutions | Pharmnet | Sustainable Finance & Socially Responsible Investment | Wellness | business call to action (bcta)

CONTENT: Press Release