WAHO, ECOWAS meet to appraise progress in Medicines Regulatory Harmonization

To appraise efforts in harmonization of medicines registration, effective coordination and related activities, the Steering Committee Meeting of the West African Regulatory Harmonisation Project (WA-MRH) has begun in Lagos.

The meeting which began on Thursday will end on Saturday.

The WA-MRH Project has its Steering Committee comprising the 15 Heads of the National Medicines Regulatory Authorities (NMRAs) of ECOWAS, as well as technical and financial supporters, including the World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NEPAD, WHO, USAID and others.

Speaking with newsmen at the event, the D-G of NAFDAC, Nigeria’s medicines’ regulatory agency, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye noted that the goal of the West African Health Organisation Medicine Regulatory Harmonisation is to make sure that there is regional collaboration among regulatory agencies.

And NAFDAC is one of the 15 regulatory agencies in west Africa; the goal for the collaboration is to ensure that we have quality medicine for our people and also to strengthen the regulatory framework.

Part of strengthening the regulatory framework is making sure that the governance of each regulatory agency is very strong,” she said.

Adeyeye said that being a member of WA-MRH had been beneficial to NAFDAC.

NAFDAC got funding to effect quality management in its system and we’ve been doing that for almost a year now; that is part of the benefits we are getting from the WAHO Medicine Regulatory Harmonisation.

NAFDAC is also contributing a lot for this organisation because many of our own staff are members of the technical working groups.

But in terms of benefit overall, it is to ensure that our people get quality medicines to reduce sub-standards and falsified medicines.

This is to ensure that the weaker regulatory agencies are strengthened because if the regulatory agency in my neighbourhood is weak, then I am going to be weak as a regulatory agency.

This is because there will be falsified medicines coming from such a neighbouring country.

So, the benefit is very significant, especially as NAFDAC is the biggest regulatory body in Africa and we have a lot of companies in Nigeria,” she said.

Also, Dr Carlos Pedro Faria de Brito, Director, WAHO’s Department of Public Health and Research said: One of the mandates of the West African Health Organisation is to work to permit, to integrate our services and our equipment across the nations, our countries.

Our 15 countries are not in the same level of development, so we need to ensure equality in the capacity of each of our countries.

But in doing that, it’s also necessary for us to integrate them to permit the countries that have not the possibility to utilise the capacities, the opportunities that we have across the nations.

This is one of the biggest objective of WAHO.

We are conversant with the work of integration for our countries to utilise what is better done in one country to the interest of entire region,” he said.

Source: Voice of Nigeria