GHANA HOSTS 3RD BIENNIAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE ON MEDICAL PRODUCTS REGULATION IN AFRICA
Hon. Kweku Agyeman Manu, the Minister for Health, on Monday, 27th November, 2017, opened the 3rd Biennial Scientific Conference on Medical Products Regulation in Africa. The Conference which was organised in Accra under the theme, “Sustaining the Momentum for Regulatory Harmonization in Africa” was organized by The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and hosted by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
Harmonization of medical products regulations is the standardization of the processes and regulations within a defined geographic area. This therefore involves applying the same regulatory systems, procedures and standards across the said region. Its implication is that when a medicine is registered anywhere within the harmonized sub region, its quality and standards would be the same across the sub region.
Hon. Agyemang Manu mentioned that the conference is geared towards how regulators can harmonize policies to ensure that medicines that we are administered in our countries are of the best quality thus making it difficult for medicines to be falsified and smuggled across countries. He further posited that in the near future, it is only the WHO standards that medicine manufactures would have to go by, so that medicine regulators like the FDA and other authorities across the world can combine efforts and knowledge to try and fight the cancer of smuggling counterfeit and substandard medicines in a very harmonious manner.
He, however, bemoaned the transfer of diseases and fake medicines through the country’s borders. He stated that “we travel across to funerals and come back home, some come to school here and they go back, we have several other routes that go to Cote D’Ivoire, in that respect whatever disease that we are carrying, cross our borders so easily, apart from that whatever treatment and medications that have been given us also cross our borders with ease”.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Mrs. Delese Mimi Darko, stated that countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sub region are moving to adopt best practices in regulating medical products in the sub region. Mrs. Darko said this during the opening of the Conference. According to Mrs. Darko, harmonization of medical products by ECOWAS countries would ensure that processes and quality of work is standardized across the sub region and this is in a bid to ensure quality of medicines or medical products across the borders.