US firm pumps Sh2.5bn into Kenya cheap drugs venture

An American non-profit organisation, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), has launched a company based in Kenya that will offer a platform for government and private health facilities to procure quality medicines at negotiated favourable rates.

The new private venture, dubbed MedSource, will work with pharmacies, hospitals, clinical laboratories and other health networks to target Kenyans with discounted medicines, vaccines and diagnostics.

The company says it expects to inject $25 million (about Sh2.5 billion) within its first five years of operation in the country.

The move comes just weeks after the Ministry of Health indicated that it was looking to bring down rising healthcare costs by regulating medicine prices.

“We are coming at a time when the Ministry is trying to deal with the problems of escalating costs by introducing capitation and so we will have different price points for every vendor out there. We have innovator drugs as well as branded and unbranded generics. We will offer the best possible prices set by the Ministry,” MedSource CEO Peter Kamunyo said yesterday during the firm’s launch yesterday.

Health secretary Sicily Kariuki last month said her ministry was in talks with the National Treasury to issue a Gazette notice that will give legal backing to the regulation plan.

MedSource says it will work with multinational manufacturers to provide negotiated discounts for life-saving drugs of the highest quality.

“We have 800 companies who have expressed interest, which is a good thing for the private sector which is very fragmented. We will train them numerous aspect which will drastically improve drug prices in the country,” Mr Kamunyo said.



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