On 30 March 2022, Prakash Patel, aged 92 years, of Nairobi, Kenya. Mr Patel registered with the Society in 1957.
Prakash Patel, chairman of Cosmos Limited, Nairobi, Kenya, passed away on 30 March 2022 aged 92. He was a pioneer pharmacist, practicing in India, the United Kingdom and most significantly in Kenya, where his service greatly accelerated the supply of essential medicines across East Africa.
As the third of eight children, who lost their father at a young age, Prakash learnt to be self-sufficient, ever conscious to the plight of his mother and siblings. He focused on his education, graduating from LM College of Pharmacy, Ahmedabad, India, and later from University of Edinburgh (BPharm in Pharmacy) and became a registered member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain on 31 July 1957.
He later migrated to Kenya in order to be close to his family and began work at a community pharmacy (Highlands Chemists) in Eldoret. With characteristic hard work and determination, he was able to move to Nairobi where he purchased his first pharmacy in Nairobi (Cosmopolitan Chemists Limited) and later purchased E.T. Monks and Company Limited.
In 1978, he founded Cosmos Limited with the aim to manufacture and provide high quality, essential medicines at affordable prices for the region. By the 2000’s, Cosmos Limited became one of the leading pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in East Africa and, in 2003, became the first to manufacture antiretroviral drugs, having obtained voluntary licenses from GSK and Boehringer Ingelheim.
He also contributed significantly to the leadership and establishment of the Kenyan Pharmaceutical Industry, having founded the Kenyan Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (chairman in 1981, 1987, 1989) and was a member of the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya (1978/1979).
His compassion and relentless efforts to help those in need did not stop there. He was a member of the Board of MP Shah Hospital and co-founder of the Lions Eye Hospital in Nairobi, as well as a major benefactor to the Amrut Health Centre (non-governmental organisation providing medical care and essential medicines to the Kangemi slums in Nairobi) and the Muni Seva Ashram in Goraj, India.
As a third-generation pharmacist, he is an inspiration and a true example of visionary leadership. I am grateful for the advice and guidance he provided over the years, and while he may no longer be with us, may his strong values and commitment to provide high quality pharmaceutical services, as well as his support for the community, live on through us. He remained a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and read The Pharmaceutical Journal to keep up with new developments in the medical and pharmaceutical fields up to the end of his eventful life.