A survey of strategic responses by Kenyan pharmaceutical firms to the challenge of the HIV/AIDS pandemic
This study was conducted with the objective of finding out the Human Resource and Business Responses to the challenges of HIV IAIDS by the Kenyan pharmaceutical industry. The study sample consisted of pharmaceutical firms in manufacturing, importation, marketing and distribution and resident in Nairobi. This study attempted to investigate the strategic management responses in the Kenyan pharmaceutical industry to the pandemic. The study had two main objectives: - (a) To establish the Human Resource management responses by the Kenyan pharmaceutical industry to the HIV IAIDS related challenges. (b) To establish Business responses by the Kenyan pharmaceutical industry to the HIV IAIDS related challenges. To achieve these objectives, pnmary data was collected by use of a Questionnaire that was structured with both open and closed probes to allow both flexibility and comparability of answers given across the industry. The questionnaires were addressed to CEOs and Human Resource Directors and I or Managers. The data collected was analysed usmg simple descriptive statistics. During the analysis, an attempt was made to group the companies into three sub-samples based on ownership, type of organisation and finally size. Judging size was therefore based on number of employees and that put most firms in the 0-50 category but for six in the 51-100, one in the 111-150 and three in the more than 150 personnel bracket. All the companies were analysed together and then by sub - samples based on ownership, type of organisation and size. Inter-group comparisons were done but in general, the differences within and between groups did not appear significant. One of the findings from the study is that 78.6% of the Kenyan pharmaceutical firms despite knowing the benefits antiretrovirals can confer on the HIV infected are neither providing them nor do they have any care programmes for the HIV infected. 92.9% do not have any HIVIAIDS policies that would protect staff against discrimination based on their HIV status during Human Recourse procurement and during their service in the organisation. 53.6% of the organisations do pre - employment testing and all but two do not have an active HIV IAIDS workplace programmes. Even those that have, the programme is just nascent, with a team of Peer Educators in place. Many firms had a strategy to address HIV/AIDS both as a threat (50.0%) and a business opportunity (85.7%). It seems therefore a lot more strategic thought has been given to the exploitation of opportunities the pandemic has presented to businesses than the dangers arising from access related antiretroviral price reductions and HIV IAIDS associated illnesses and deaths. The study was a cross - sectional one and not longitudinal and therefore, conclusions drawn today can be challenged by another study later on .