, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – The government has been asked to conduct an extensive audit of counterfeits coming into the country in order to effectively deal with the menace.
The Regional Coordinator of non-governmental organisation Health Action International, Gichinga Ndirangu, said on Tuesday that the lack of data on counterfeit products especially medicines was the greatest impediment to tackling the problem.
Mr Ndirangu said that the extent of counterfeits in the country could not be explained and this posed a serious risk.
“There has not been a very clear and concerted effort to find the extent of the problem,” he stated.
“We need a system to be developed that could help us understand the extent of the problem and that should involve all the different players so that the evidence that comes up is sound and based on the empirical evidence and therefore can help us respond to this problem,” he added.
He was addressing a joint press conference with the Médecins Sans Frontières and International Treatment Preparedness Coalition where they also raised concern about the Anti Counterfeit Act 2008.
“We have had situations in other countries where consignments of legitimate generic medicines destined for other countries are seized and the concern is that it could happen in Kenya and for that reason it is important that the law is amended in a way that would ensure that it does not happen,” Mr Ndirangu explained.
The groups also want the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) to be given the lead role in combating counterfeit medicines at the port instead of the Kenya Revenue Authority.
“We would like the PPB inspectors who can really determine what is genuine and what is not, to be the ones to deal with medicine,” Mr Ndirangu said.