Pharmacy Regulator goes big on Sh240M automation project | Blog

Pharmacy Regulator goes big on Sh240M automation project← Back

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB)  has fully automated services, making it the first national drug regulatory authority in Africa to automate clinical trial registry process among other services.

Most services offered at the PPB such as license renewals, payments, clinical trials, students’ registration, trade, inspection, and verification of professionals have now moved online.

The automation has reduced delays in service delivery and increased the Board’s capacity to transform pharmaceutical practice, according to PPB the Acting, Chief Pharmacist and Registrar, Dr Fred Siyoi.
“It would, for instance, initially take applicants up to a month to get a practicing license but with the automation, it takes the Board 72 hours to complete the process.
The automation project has also boosted revenue collection measures and improved industry surveillance mechanisms. Payments to the board can easily be done at the comfort of your office or home through electronic money transfer services,” Dr Siyoi elaborates.

With the new services Kenya now joins Medicines Control Council of South African (MCC) as the only pharmaceutical regulatory authorities in the continent to receive submissions of drug registration dossiers online, commonly referred to as Electronic Common Technical Document (E - CTD).

Through the automation, Kenya is now a regional center of regulatory excellence for pharmacovigilance, a platform that tracks and reports adverse effects licensed drugs may have on patients. Regulatory authorities in countries such as Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Zambia are using PPB as a regulatory benchmark in the pharmaceutical industry.

According to Dr Siyoi the automation process, which began in 2007 has not been easy stretching beyond 2015, now at 80 percent due to budgetary constraints
 “We had an initial budget of Shs 6 million but after the process was mapped, Sh240 million was required. We could not get that at a go and we had to resort to resource mobilization,” added Dr Siyoi.
The US Centre for Disease Control aided in paying the system developers with the Board hiring eight additional staff to boost the Information Technology department.

The PPB Head of ICT, Gideon Murimi says “Processes and procedures at PPB are now paperless. From registration of products including pharmaceutical drugs, herbal and food supplements, cosmetics, good manufacturing practices procedures, to indexing and registration of students and exams time table and results are all automated.”

In the next one year, Murimi focuses, the Board plans to integrate its systems into a portal that will also be available at the E-citizen, a one-stop portal for all government services.
To circumvent cyber security challenges, the Board has installed enough system backups, with help of Kenyan tech gurus. To curtail illegitimate chemists in the country, the PBB has assigned unique codes to all licensed pharmacies in the country. Kenyans can now easily verify legitimacy of a pharmacy by sending the unique code through a short message code 21031. The message reply comes with the name of the facility, location, registration date of the pharmacy and the name of the registered pharmaceutical professional.

In addition, the PPB has provided a list of all registered pharmacists online to help Kenyans easily identify qualifications of people superintending over pharmacies. The verification can be done through the short message service that takes less than 30 seconds to complete.

In addition, PPB uses Global Positioning System (GPS) enabled gadgets to conduct inspection activities. The use of GPS, according to Murimi, has increased transparency in inspection due to availability of a digital trail at PBB when its officers go for inspection. The GPS tools aid in mapping out pharmaceutical outlets to the location registered with the board, this ensures that all pharmacies are mapped during inspections.

“When we are doing inspection, we use GPS enabled tablets. That ensures transparency and neither party can complain. The inspector and the inspected have confidence that the process was done,” says Murimi. During inspections the drug inspectors ensures that pharmaceutical outlets sell only duly registered drugs and drug-dispensing facilities comply with the law.

According to Dr Siyoi, market demands for a system that would provide real-time user fulfillment, efficiency while reducing errors prompted the Board to automate its service delivery processes.  .



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