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Business News of Wednesday, 26 May 2021


FDA digitises payments for imports, exports

Delese Mimi Darko, FDA Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Ghana Delese Mimi Darko, FDA Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Ghana

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has begun digitising its import and export control systems to enhance efficiency and speed.

The move, which commenced this month, will ensure the Import and Export Control Department of the FDA will receive all payments through an electronic digital platform. The digitisation of the payment process is aimed at reducing the turnaround time for doing business at the various ports of entry.

All payments under this new initiative will be made through a new platform—— which is linked to the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) already in place. This new platform will offer a variety of payment options, such as mobile money, bank transfers and debit card transfers, and offer enough flexibility to importers and exporters to make the payment process seamless and less cumbersome.

The project has already been piloted at the Tema port to test the system’s readiness. The FDA has already seen a reduced number of visits to its facility for payment purposes, which is indicative of how the initiative can reduce congestion at the various offices across the country.

Meanwhile, the FDA in collaboration with the United States Pharmacopeial Convention recently held a three-day inaugural meeting in Accra of the Working Group on Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM+) programme funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The programme was attended by representatives from the FDA, National Malaria Control Programme, National AIDS/HIV Control Programme, National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Expanded Programme on Immunisation, Pharmacy Council, National Health Insurance Authority, Ghana Health Service, and the PQM+ West Africa Team.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Mrs Delese A. A. Darko, said the PQM+ will sustainably strengthen medical product quality assurance in the country. According to her, working with medicines regulatory authorities like the FDA and other stakeholders in this programme will increase the supply of quality essential medical products through capacity building of local manufacturers towards WHO pre-qualifications and Ghana Standards Authority criteria.

She further stated that the PQM+ plans to help improve the capacity of FDA to conduct post-market surveillance by introducing a new risk-based approach that requires the participation of diverse groups that play a critical role in the quality assurance of medicines in the country.

The project seeks to support and assess the level of progress of three selected local manufacturers of Artemether/Lumefantrine and improve the quality of oxytocin and iron + folic acid supplement on the Ghanaian market.

The FDA Deputy Chief Executive, Technical Operations Division, Mrs Akua Amartey, said the adoption of this new approach to post-market surveillance is key to ensuring quality medical products on the market. She pledged the support of the FDA and lauded the efforts by the stakeholders to implement this new approach.

Mrs Delese Darko encouraged members of the working group to seize the opportunity to build their capacity in the management of the quality of health products marketed in Ghana and contribute their quota to fight against substandard and falsified medicines.