Regional drugs supplier Mission of Essential Drugs and Supplies (MEDS) has set up a cold room that will enhance storage of medicines and boost its capacity to serve its clients.
The facility, which was inaugurated on Friday, is a major boost to the nearly half a million diabetes patients in Kenya who will now get uninterrupted supply of insulin, the drug used to manager blood sugar for diabetics.
MEDS Managing Director Paschal Manyuru said the cold room occupies an area of 55 square metres, and will accommodate up to 448 vials of insulin, or 48,384 flex pens, sufficient to serve over 25,000 patients. The Sh12 million cold room was partly financed by Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company and supplier of human insulin, as part of the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) public-private partnership project launched in Kenya in 2012.
Through the project, Novo Nordisk, working with other partners, has among other initiatives helped to lower the price of insulin by more than 70 percent, from a high of Sh2,000 to just Sh500. MEDS has been supplying insulin to 27 counties in Kenya for the last five years under the BoP programme.
He said the organisation has, however, been experiencing challenges in storing due to limited size of cold room space as the BoP project has generated a significant increase in the demand for insulin.
“We see it is both a corporate responsibility and a business opportunity to support local health authorities and organisations in making sure that insulin is accessible and affordable,” said Venkat Kalyan, the General Manager of Novo Nordisk, Middle East and Africa.