30 31 Catalysing the Regional Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Sector The changing landscape of local pharmaceutical manufacturing in East Africa T he East African Pharmaceutical Sector produces less than 30 percent of the medicine consumed in the region. This is mainly due to international competition and high cost for manufacturing. Manufacturing of pharmaceuticals is now the third highest priority in Africa after mining and agriculture. As a result, the pharmaceutical industry, specifically in the East African region, is currently undergoing signifi- cant changes towards evolving into a globally competi- tive sector that adopts international best practices. Both the East African Community Secretariat and EAC Part- ner States have recognised the strategic importance of the pharmaceutical sector for ensuring sustainable ac- cess to quality medicines and have put in place several measures to promote the development and growth of the sector. In 2009, the EAC-GIZ Programme initiated support to the pharmaceutical sector with a focus on supporting the development and implementation of a regional pharmaceutical manufacturing plan and the establish- ment of a regional pharmaceutical manufacturers’ asso- ciation. The Federation of East African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (FEAPM) is the umbrella organisation of pharmaceutical manufacturers within the EAC. Its aim is to represent and foster the interests of the local phar- maceutical industry and push local manufacturing up the political agenda at the EAC level. Since inception in 2011, FEAPM has made great strides towards achieving its mandate as the voice of local pharmaceutical man- ufacturers in the region. From providing training and advocacy to conducting research and facilitating new partnerships, FEAPM is developing a range of services that are beneficial for its partners. For example, it sup- ports the elaboration and implementation of the Re- gional Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan of Action 2017-2027 and the implementation of the roadmap for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to attain WHO standards. Due to the improvements the sector has attracted over USD 200 million worth of investments in the last seven years through joint ventures, buy-outs and private equity.The investments have been directed at putting up new production facilities or upgrading existing plants in order to conform to international standards. Successful pharmaceutical manufacturers are for example CIPLA, a leadingIndianpharmaceuticalcompany,whichacquired a 51% controlling stake in Quality Chemical Industries Limited (QCIL), Uganda. The new entity produces WHO prequalified anti-malarial and HIV medicines with a market presence in east, west and southern African countries. Similarly, Strides Pharma from India acquired a majority controlling stake on Universal Corporation, a Kenyan pharmaceutical. Market access conditions for local manufacturers should continue to be improved. The Common External Tariff (CET) applicable on finished pharmaceutical products will need to be revised in order to take into considera- tion the recent investments in the sector. Furthermore, Article 35 of the Common Market Protocol, which calls for equal treatment of manufacturers in public tenders in the Partner States, should be fully implemented. The framework conditions for the growth of the sector have been well articulated in the EAC Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan of Action 2017-2027. The EAC Secretariat, FEAPM, the Part- ner States and development part- ners will continue working togeth- er to build on the gains that have been achieved so far. In the long run this will lead to better quality medicines at affordable prices. Due to the improvements the sector has attracted over USD 200 million worth of investments in the last seven years through joint ventures, buy-outs and private equity.