Connect with us


Why KFDA Bill is bitter pill for most Kenyans



Why KFDA Bill is bitter pill for most Kenyans

The world over, the regulation of medicines and food is a difficult venture. Most countries grapple with legislation and policies to regulate these most essential sectors—health and food. The UK, for example, has enacted different laws to regulate the two sectors. 

Interestingly, the US, the author of the famous US Food and Drug Authority (FDA), is mulling dismantling the gigantic body due to confusion, conflicts of interest and a scramble for resources, which compromises the safety of foods and medicines.

Most African countries which copy-pasted the FDA model are in constant confusion and dilemma on whether to remain in the bondage of regulation or take a bold step and jump ship. South Africa, a high-ranking African state, regulates foods and drugs separately.

It is a safe haven for Kenya, now that we can learn and understand the merits and demerits of joint regulation of drugs and foods from both our big brothers and peers in Africa. 

There is a heated debate in and outside Parliament over the Kenya Food and Drugs Authority Bill, which seeks to regulate foods, drugs, health products and technologies in the country.

The bill has attracted criticism and opposition from almost all sectors. Interestingly, all health professional bodies have not relented in their effort to stop the bill, with a possibility of court battles if it is passed.

The KFDA Bill seeks to bring together different bills and Acts of Parliament into a single law. A classic case is the Pharmacy and Poisons Act CAP 244 which regulates drugs, health products and technologies, which could be merged with others like Food, Chemical and Poisonous Substances Act. 

Increase in counterfeit

In the event that the bill is passed, expect a huge increase in counterfeit medicines, health technologies and substandard foods in the market. Regulation of the products by single entities is already a big challenge due to the lack of proper funding, legislation and policies not backed by empirical research.

Good policies and regulations are the guiding principles of good practices that would ensure ‘Wanjiku’ is protected from harmful products. Notably, the bill, in its current form, is like a sweet that is laced with lethal long-term dangerous poison.

Parliament has enacted laws and amended others to enhance and promote safe, accessible and affordable medicines to Kenyans. It is everyone’s expectation that the toxic bill will be voided and fresh consultations and engagements towards a properly regulated health sector held and concluded.

There are efforts to harmonise the regulation of medicines and health products in the continent through the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonisation (AMRH) programme. States are encouraged to enact legislation and policies to promote the call “Solving the African problems in the African way”. 

Let Kenya take this path and put proper legislation, policies and regulations in place to protect the common man from ever-existing threats of counterfeit, substandard and poor-quality medicines.

Source link