ECOWAS Introduces Medicines Regulatory Harmonisation Project

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West African countries have launched a health initiative dubbed ‘Medicines Regulatory Harmonisation Project’ (MRHP) to ensure smooth and standard registration of medicines produced in the sub-region.

Ghana’s Deputy Health Minister of Health, Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu, said: “the intent of all these efforts in the sub region is to ensure that regulatory oversight on medicines imported and produced locally are stringently monitored and the high incident of substandard falsified medicines circulating in our markets are reduced to the barest limit.”

“The quality of life of the population is very important and it depends equally on the type of medicines they take, we therefore look forward to seeing that the capacities of the regulatory authorities on the continent are developed to mitigate challenges and risk associated with healthcare,” he added.

The Project is meant to ensure rapid access to safe and effective medicines of good quality to treat priority diseases and fast track registration of such products. The officials will adopt a common standard that will allow each country the power to register medicines that can be used across the sub-region. Health officials have been working on developing the common registration procedure for close to five years.

Led by the NEPAD Agency through the Technical Working Group on Medicines Policy and Regulatory Reforms and in collaboration with African Union Commission (AUC), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Pan African Parliament as well as partners such as World Health Organisation, United Nations Development Programme, World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates, the gathering would also be a platform to discuss the African Union model law and other documents developed so far.

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