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EAC move to harmonize registration of medicine

16 April 2012, 11:35 Trudy Tru

Registration of medicines within the East African Community (EAC) has been harmonized. The EAC launched the Medicines Registration Harmonization (MRH) project on March 30 in Tanzania .

According to a report by New Partnerships for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), lack of access to essential medicines remains one of the most serious challenges facing public health systems in Africa.

“Africa should invest in health research, drug discovery and pharmaceutical development in order to deal with health and technological challenges,” recommends the NEPAD report.

The report blames the scenario on limited budgets, lack of adequate infrastructure and human resources and also regulatory barriers such as weak medicines legislation and legal frameworks.

The launch of the EAC MRH Project marks the beginning of the implementation phase of the African Medicine Regulatory and harmonization (AMRH) Programme across Africa.

“The regulation of medicines and harmonization of technical standards and legislative frameworks have emerged as important components of the regional economic integration efforts”, said NEPAD Agency CEO, Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki.

Speaking at the launched, Dr William Mwatu, Medical and Regulatory Affairs Director at GlaxoSmithkline said Harmonization of registration of medicine is set to strengthen the regulatory environment and ensure the quality of drugs supplied in the region.

 “Harmonization of medicines’ registration will improve quality of drugs, lead to faster access to drugs, and have more affordable medicines,” says Dr Mwatu.

The project is supported by The NEPAD Agency, on behalf of the AMRH Programme partners - the World Health Organization (WHO), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, UK Department for International Development (DfID), and Clinton Health Access Initiative.

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