KENYA – Officials from Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) have held a discussion on the opportunities in clinical trials and drug manufacturing in Kenya.

Also present was a delegation from Deloitte Japan and Africa Health Business (AHB).

The study which is expected to start in the first half of 2023 will be conducted in collaboration with researchers from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).

“Collaboration was a key theme of the meeting as the organisations explored ways to support the Kenyan vaccine and pharmaceutical sector,” PPB said in a tweet.

According to PPB, clinical trials are important in helping discover new medicines to diagnose, treat, manage or prevent the many diseases affecting human beings.

The studies are also used to determine whether to change the initial indications, dosage or even the age group of the initially approved medications.

The PPB is the national medicines regulatory authority whose mandate is to protect the health of the public by regulating pharmacies and ensuring the quality, safety and efficacy of medical products and health technologies.

The board regulates the practice of pharmacy, manufacture and trade in drugs and poisons.

Kenya has been at the forefront of participating in clinical trials of various drugs and vaccines.

Last year, US firm Tonix pharmaceuticals picked Kenya for Phase 1 clinical vaccine trials in an effort to develop TNX-8011 as a vaccine to protect against monkeypox and smallpox.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Kenya also participated in the clinical trials for the Oxford Vaccine at the Kilifi KEMRI Wellcome Trust.

JICA has played a critical role in Kenya’s health sector, especially during the Covid-19 response where they donated more than 75,000 PCR testing kits and freezers with a storage capacity of three million doses for Pfizer vaccines.

Meanwhile, Health PS Josephine Mburu confirmed the reappointment of Fred Siyoi  as CEO of Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) for a second four-year term.

He has served on the board for 10 years now.

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