NAIROBI, Kenya, 23 October 2013 – Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya (PPB) and TradeMark East Africa ( TMEA ) have announced the launch of a new ePortal that will enable the pharmaceutical industry’s stakeholders to access trade and drug retention services online.
This new development is expected to boost the pharmaceutical sector by easing access to services provided by the regulator to the pharmaceutical industry. The development of the online portal has been facilitated by TradeMark East Africa as part of its mandate to promote regional trade and economic integration.
Speaking at the launch, the Principle Secretary Ministry of Health Prof. Fred Segor said, ‘’The Pharmacy and Poisons Board’s ePortal will contribute towards the reduction of non-tariff trade barriers within the pharmaceutical sector. This is in line with Kenya’s vision 2030 goal of providing equitable and affordable quality health services to all Kenyans. These aspirations are in line with the flagship projects of vision 2030 initiatives under the National single window project.’ Pharmacy and Poisons Board Registrar Dr. Kipkerich Koskei added, ‘The PPB ePortal had been developed with the aim of integrating all regulatory services.
Through the ePortal, stakeholders will be able to apply for operational licenses, renew existing operational licenses, make e-payments, and register drug exports and imports. There is need to encourage the stakeholders in approval processes to embrace electronic signatures. Individuals charged with the responsibility of approving documents should be able to log into the system in a secure way, review applications and give their feedback electronically.’ EAC Secretariat health information expert Eng. Daniel Murenzi added, ‘The implementation of the PPB online portal is a remarkable milestone that will contribute to the enhancement of the harmonization of medicines registration in the region.
The regulation of medicines and harmonization of technical standards and legislative frameworks have emerged as important components of the regional economic integration efforts mainly because countries in Africa are struggling to produce, procure and make safe and essential medicines available to their populations.’ The online portal was developed in close partnership with TradeMark East Africa ( TMEA ) who provided technical and financial support to PPB. ‘One of the change pillars in TradeMark’s matrix for institutional transformation for Trade is ICT.
It is the new strategic enhancer and channel of turning resources into key success factors; therefore ICT is deeply embedded in the critical objectives of TradeMark i.e. increased market access, enhanced trade environment and increased product competitiveness, and we believe that ICT is a crucial component in the improvement of trade facilitation in the East African Community and S. Sudan.
Among the food and drug agencies that TradeMark is working with in the region, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board’s portal is the first to go live and we hope that as the other agencies go live next year; they will all be interfaced to create a regional platform for the food and drug agencies to share information and intelligence. ‘ TradeMark and PPB’s aim is to see the reduction in the cost and time of doing trade transaction by as much as 35%.
As part of the Kenyan governments digitization process, the PPB ePortal will also be integrated with other government agencies including Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) via an interface with the Kenya National Single Window currently in development by the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KENTRADE).
Speaking at the launch of the PPB online portal, KENTRADE CEO Mr. Alex Kabuga said, ‘The National Single Window and other agency online portals will work in tandem to boost regional and international business by enhancing national and regional integration. This will have a direct impact and result in an improved business environment, increased investment, and economic growth.
The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) is the Drug Regulatory Authority of the Ministry of medical services. Established in 1957 under the Pharmacy and Poisons Act (Cap 244) Laws of Kenya, its mandate is to regulate the Practice of Pharmacy and the Manufacture and Trade in drugs and poisons. PPB’s vision is to be a Global Centre of Regulatory Excellence.
PPB’s mission is to safeguard the health of the public by ensuring that medicines and health products comply with acceptable standards of quality, safety and efficacy. TMEA is providing business process automation and web-based portals to various trade facilitation agencies to allow for easier access to standardized trade information and documents, improved and consistent application of trade regulations by trade facilitation agency staff, increased compliance rates by traders and increased transparency and accountability in import and export trade operations.
These solutions also enable government agencies and the private sector to participate in the eventual national and regional electronic Single Window Information for Trade (SWIFT) that will reduce time and costs for traders and trade facilitation agencies in the East African region. SWIFT is a trade facilitation concept whose implementation allows cross-border traders to access, apply for and submit regulatory documents at a single location.
For more information, please contact • Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya, firstname.lastname@example.org • TradeMark East Africa, Edward Ichungwa; email@example.com