Patients in Kenya who are suffering from breast cancer, diabetes, hypertension and asthma are breathing a sigh of relief following the arrival of the first consignment of subsidised medicines for their treatment.
This first consignment of drugs will enable 17,000 patients to access medicines for the four non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The medicines, which are supplied by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis Access, will be managed by the Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies (MEDS) as part of the October 2015 agreement which the firm entered into with the faith-based medical supplier.
Patients will be expected to pay as little as 160 shillings (about 1.60 US dollars) per treatment per month for the drugs which previously cost between 5,000 and 8,000 shillings.
The initial consignment had been selected based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Model List of Essential Medicines and are among the most commonly prescribed medicines.
The MEDS will warehouse and distribute the medicines to patients across the country through faith-based organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and County government health facilities, among others.
The World Bank has lauded the MEDS supply chain as one of the most efficient models serving Africa in medical supply.