Global pharmaceutical GSK clarifies changes in its operations in Kenya

Other companies that adopted the same distributor-led business model include Reckitt Benckiser (which produces Dettol), Cadbury and Colgate-Palmolive.

Staff members working at the GSK premises in Nairobi

Global pharmaceutical GSK, formerly GlaxoSmithKline, has announced plans change its operating model in Kenya in 2023.

GlaxoSmithKline is the producer of various products which are very popular in the Kenyan market.

The firm however clarified that contrary to media reports, no factories would be closed because GSK does not operate any manufacturing sites in Kenya.

Yesterday, we informed employees in Kenya that we will move to a direct distribution model and our operations will be transferred to third-party distributors.

We will continue to supply our needed medicines and vaccines in Kenya, and we will work with our distribution partners towards a smooth transition in 2023,” the firm said.

This means that instead of having a GSK commercial operation in the country the firm will supply medicines and vaccines through a third party.

Other companies that adopted the same distributor-led business model include Reckitt Benckiser (which produces Dettol), Cadbury and Colgate-Palmolive.

"Our current commercial operations are staffed by skilled professionals dedicated to ensuring our medicines and vaccines are made available to patients who need them, and this decision has not been taken lightly. We understand the impact of this proposal on them, their families, and the region affected.

"Our immediate priority is to support them through this change. We are committed to communicating openly and transparently with all our stakeholders as we transition to this new way of working," the company said.

Earlier in 2022, investors agreed to split its consumer health unit, which owns the Sensodyne and Panadol brands, into an independent firm- Haleon.

Haleon will continue to promote, sell and manufacture products such as Sensodyne, Panadol, Centrum and Otrivin in Kenya. Production at the Likoni manufacturing site will continue to operate as usual.

Before the new company, Haleon went public in July 2022, Unilever had placed a $68 billion offer to acquire its shares.

However, GSK said the amount was an undervaluation of the company.

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