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New plant expected to cut drug costs

By Esther Dianah | November 7th 2021
By Esther Dianah | November 7th 2021
Cs Ministry Of Industrialisation,Trade & Enterprise Development Betty Maina speaking to the press as he announced Kenya - DRC trade mission 2021 which will take place on November 29 to December 14, 2021. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Square Pharmaceuticals Kenya EPZ Ltd, an investment of Bangladesh-based Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd is set to open a manufacturing plant at EPZ.

The plant is projected to reduce the cost of medicines in the East African Community (EAC) region and would export 50 per cent of its products to African markets. It will also provide 1,000 direct jobs.

The plant, which is the first phase of a total $75 million (Sh8 billion) investment by the Bangladeshi company is aligned to the World Health Organisation's global cost-reduction strategy, aimed at promoting technology transfer between developed and developing countries.

This is targeted at bringing down the price of drugs and increasing public access to quality and affordable medicines in the region.

The plant which sits on 6.03 hectares of land with a production capacity of over two billion capsules and tablets annually, is the first investment that the Bangladesh government approved to be located in Africa.

Speaking during a familiarisation tour at the plant, Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development CS Betty Maina said the government was keen on supporting the establishment and growth of the Pharma manufacturing sector. This, she noted would improve the lives of Kenyans, create jobs and strengthen local value chains.

Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd Managing Director Tapan Chowdhury lauded the State's support for the pharmaceutical industry. “We believe that local pharmaceutical production has a potential to reduce the cost of drugs by 40 per cent,” Tapan said.

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