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Business News of Saturday, 22 August 2020


Body to regulate safe, quality drugs on the continent gets legal nod

Parliament House of Ghana Parliament House of Ghana

Parliament has approved for the establishment of an African Medicines Agency (AMA) as a regulatory body in Ghana that will ensure the country conforms to the best practices and standards for medical products and health technologies.

Ghana is presently lobbying to have the agency set up in the West African country, which will provide leadership to ensure that there are harmonized and strengthened systems, which governs the regulation of medical products and health technologies on the African continent, a parliamentary report has revealed.

According to the report of the health committee on the treaty for the establishment of AMA, people living in Ghana will be protected from the risks and dangers posed by substandard.

Moving for the approval of the treaty, chairman of parliament’s health committee, Dr.Kwabena Twum-Nuamah indicated that the coordination of the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonisation initiative under the leadership of AMA will provide improved sovereign control and regulation of medical products and health technologies.

The Agency will guarantee the use of institutional, scientific and regulatory resources on the continent to improve access to safe, efficacious, and quality medical products and health technologies.

It will also facilitate expeditious approval of products that address the health needs of the African populace especially for diseases that disproportionately affect Africa.

It is, therefore, necessary that Ghana ratifies the treaty, to further enhance and deepen the already existing relationship it has with member states based on their collective efforts towards improving the quality of life of their people.

Among the functions to be performed by AMA include: coordinate and strengthen ongoing initiatives to harmonise medical products regulation and enhance the competence of good manufacturing practices inspectors, coordinate the collection, management, storage and sharing of information on all medical products including substandard and falsified medical products with all its state parties and globally.

The body is also expected to provide guidance on the regulation of traditional medical products, develop systems to monitor, evaluate and assess the comprehensiveness of national medical products regulatory systems with the view of recommending measures that will improve efficiency and effectiveness.

The ratification of the treaty supports the operationalization of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which currently has its secretariat in Ghana.

It is the vision of government to guarantee the right to health of all people living in Ghana, through an effective and efficient health sector with the sustainable ability to deliver affordable, equitable and accessible healthcare.

The government is also committed to supporting the health sector to deliver cutting edge services to the citizens as outlined in the 2018-2023 National Public Sector Reform Strategy (NPSRS) because effective health care delivery system is critical for national growth and development.

The African Union(AU) through its expert committees recognizes that access to medicines is critical for attaining the health care goals of member states.

African countries also face the challenges posed by the unavailability of medicines and vaccines during public health emergencies of international concern.