The second Biennial Scientific Conference on Medicines Regulation in Africa kicked off in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Monday to discuss poor drug quality which is a threat in the fight against many diseases on the continent.The two-day event is being attended by researchers, senior government officials, international development organizations and experts in medicine and health technology regulation.
Delegated are expected to discuss how to strategically position medical products regulatory systems as a key aspect in facilitating research and development for the local production of medical products to tackle diseases disproportionately affecting the people of Africa.
The conference is organised by the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Agency and the World Health Organization, in collaboration with partners and is running under the, “Regulatory Systems Strengthening for advancing Research, Innovation and Local Pharmaceutical Production in Africa” .
Addressing delegates during the opening ceremony, WHO quality assurance and safety coordinator Lambet Lago said quality-assured, safe and effective medicines, vaccines and medical devices are fundamental to a well-functioning health system.
“In order to achieve universal coverage with essential services, it is crucial to have universal access to medicines that are of good quality, as part of a well-functioning national health systems and I believe that our member states are now committed to strengthening their pharmaceutical sectors with effective policies and plans,” she said.
The conference is expected to come up with recommendations on strategic steps for advancing medical products research and development as well as how to expedite regulatory approval mechanisms and regulatory harmonisation in Africa.