Senate bill seeks to end drug shortages

Friday, November 5th, 2021 00:00 |
Nominated Senator Naomi Shiyonga.

Counties could soon be free to source drugs and other medical supplies from other entities if the Senate approves a proposed bill.

The Kemsa (Amendment) Act, 2021 seeks to end the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority monopoly.

The proposed law, sponsored by Nominated Senator Naomi Shiyonga, would see counties not relying on Kemsa, which has been steeped in scandals in recent months, for supplies.

“This bill seeks to amend the Kemsa Act, No.20 of 2013 by deleting the provision that requires county governments to procure drugs and medical supplies from the Authority as the first point of call,” the Bill reads.

Drug shortages

If passed, it would be a big win for governors who have been pushing for the removal of the provision.

Governors have blamed the  persistent shortage of drugs in county hospitals on Kemsa’s monopoly. 

Shiyonga argues that Kemsa has not been meeting the demands of the counties, with the authority only able to supply 60 per cent of  drug requirements.

This, she added, had constrained the ability of county governments to ensure the county health facilities have adequate drugs and medical supplies to effectively provide service.

Currently, counties are barred from procuring the drugs and other medical commodities from any other supplier other than Kemsa.

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