17-07-2017, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning opened the 1st Regional Experts Meeting on Medicines Regulatory Harmonization Initiative (MRHI) during an inauguration session chaired by Mr. Abdoulkader Walyei Fato from the Ethiopian Food, Medicine, and Healthcare Administration & Control Authority, and in the presence of the Reproductive Maternal Child Health Coordinator,Dr. Fatuma Adan, and Mr. Abraham Gebregiorgis of the World Health Organization (WHO) Geneva Office.
This two-day meeting is bringing together Experts and officials from IGAD Member States in charge of their respective National Medicine Regulatory Authority (NMRA) whose mandate is to guarantee populations’ access to essential quality, safe, and efficacious medicines.
This 1st Experts Meeting is essentially aimed at reviewing and finalizing a draft project proposal for IGAD Medicines Regulatory Harmonization (IGAD-MRH) and establishing and IGAD Expert Committees for the Project.
Speaking on behalf of the Acting Director of the Health & Social Development Director for IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr. Fatuma noted that “the presence of unregulated Sub-standard, Falsified, and Counterfeit medicines circulating within IGAD member states” was “a serious public health threat which if not prevented and controlled, will undermine confidence in the public healthcare systems and programmes”. She highlighted that IGAD established the MRH Project with support from WHO and the World Bank despite the lack of proper funding within its Directorate.
Dr Fatuma reminded the audience that their inputs to the proposed draft project proposal were essential in view of submitting it the IGAD Heads of National Medicines Regulations Authorities (NMRAs) for ratification and approval in August 2017.
Mr. Gebregiorgis reassured the participants that “at global and regional level, WHO as the technical agency is supporting the regional economic communities medicine regulatory harmonization initiatives and in a broader level the NEPAD African Medicine Regulatory Harmonization”.
The Chair also his opening remarks before declaring the meeting officially open.
The expected meeting outcomes include:
• Draft IGAD-MRH Project Proposal;
• Draft One Year Project activities/work plan;
• Establishment of Expert Committees for IGAD-MRH project;
• Assessment meeting report and recommendations.