Kenya Pharmaceutical Industry Profile

The Kenya pharmaceutical industry is growing rapidly and it offers immense opportunities for pharmaceutical companies and pharmaceutical machinery manufacturers and exporters to establish their products in the pharmaceutical market in East Africa. Currently, Kenya is the largest manufacturer of pharmaceutical products, supplying around 50% products, in the COSMEA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) region.

Pharmaceutical Industry Structure in Kenya

The pharmaceutical industry in Kenya has three main segments – the manufacturers, distributors and retailers. All three segments play a vital role in supporting the country’s health sector. Because of the government’s continuous efforts for promoting local and foreign investment, the number of pharmaceutical companies and pharmaceutical machinery manufacturers continue to increase.

Currently, there are close to 700 registered pharmaceutical wholesalers and 1300 retailers in Kenya. Kenya spends approximately 8% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on health. The Kenya Medical Suppliers Agency takes care of the distribution of pharmaceutical products in Kenya. It manages the distribution of drugs to private and public health facilities.

Growth of Pharmaceutical Industry in Kenya

The health sector in Kenya has seen remarkable growth in recent years and as a result, the pharmaceutical industry has also shown immense growth. It is because of the government’s efforts to provide accessible health facilities to all the citizens. The country is focusing on the training of more and more medical personnel to channelize the growth in the health sector and the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmaceutical industry in Kenya is also involved in assembling disposable syringes, capsules and surgical gauze.

Pharmaceutical Market Conditions in Kenya

The Kenya pharmaceutical market is estimated at approximately KShs 8 billion per annum. The government of Kenya is the largest buyer of drugs imported and manufactured locally. The government purchases about 30% of the drugs through the tender system and then distributes them to government institutions.

Nigeria Pharmaceutical Market

Imports and Exports in the Kenya Pharmaceutical Market

The Ministery of Health administrate the control of the profession of pharmacy and pharmaceutical products trade. Kenya mainly imports pharmaceutical products from countries like the USA, India, Germany, Great Britain, France and Switzerland. The importers are also expected to meet the set legal requirements.
Kenya has preferred access to the regional market under several duty reduction programs. Kenya mainly exports the pharmaceutical products to countries like Uganda, DRC, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, the Comoros, Malawi and Ethiopia.

Investment Opportunities in Kenya Pharmaceutical Market

Kenya is rated as one of the most stable democracies in Africa. The government invites, promotes and protects the private enterprise. Apart from that its competitive advantage for investment in the pharmaceutical market is backed by various factors. Trademark and patent protection is one of the very important and positive factors for investors. Kenya is a member is the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Stable political environment is one of the most important investor-friendly factors in Kenya. It is one of the most countries in Africa since its independence. In addition to that Kenya offers a constant supply of a well-trained labour force that is capable of handling all types of pharmaceutical industry operations.

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