September 12, 2017

Nigeria chairs Committee on Africa Medicine harmonization

By Victoria Ojeme

In recognition of its giant strides in the fight against fake drugs, Nigeria last week was appointed to the chair the meeting of Africa Medicine Harmonization and Registration system far away in South Africa.

Addressing a press conference shortly after the two days meeting, the Director – General of NAFDAC, Mrs Yetunde Oluremi Oni said the steering committee for regulatory systems strengthening and harmonization initiative in Africa has been established as a successor of the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization, AMRH, advisory committee.

The aim was to ensure aligned strategic direction and better coordination of regulatory system strengthening and harmonization efforts at national, regional and continental levels.

Oni said the committee will foster ownership by member states, collective responsibility, mutual accountability and sustainable impact.

She added that the purpose of the meeting was to agree for the terms of reference for the steering committee in terms of what the others have done and to chart a common goal in ensuring the efficiency of drugs.

She stressed that the AMRH initiative has also received increasing interest in advancing and aligning regulatory system’s strengthening and harmonization efforts across the African continent.

These initiative include the pan Africa harmonization working party on medical devices and the in-Vitro Diagnostic [PAHWP], the network of official medicine control laboratories-Africa [NOMCOL- Africa] and the vaccines regulatory forum [AVAREF] etc.

The AMRH partners convened a strategy meeting in February 2017 to review progress and agree on short, medium and long term vision for AMRH programme.

“According to the report, partners discussed and agreed on regulatory functions and product types [drugs, vaccines, devices, diagnostics] to be considered as well as policy and legal priorities; the new governance structure and coordination mechanism; a harmonised performance metrics to make reporting easier across various donors and partners; and review of the current funding situation and funding needs for ensuring progress on AMRH across Africa.”

The report further buttressed that the steering committee reviewed and endorsed terms of reference of the steering committee, review progress on the implementation of the February 2017 strategy workshop agreed actions points, review progress and implementing partners’ priorities for the next five years, among others.