African Heads Of State Endorse Continental Medicine Regulator

The African content is one step closer to its first medicine and health super-regulator. The treaty to establish an African Medicine Agency (AMA), meant to govern medical product regulation for the entire continent, was endorsed by the African Union Heads of State and Government on 11 February, according to a press release following the 32nd AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Once the treaty is ratified by the national governments of at least 15 of the 55 African Union member states, the AMA will formally come into being as the continent’s regulatory body.

The agency will then coordinate existing efforts to reduce the spread of false, substandard, and dangerous medical technologies. The stated goal of this move is to improve access to medicine that is both affordable and effective even for those who live in the most remote rural areas of Africa.

Adopted in May 2018, the treaty was drafted with the goal of aiding the expansion of universal health coverage across the continent.

The African ministers of health modeled the treaty on the European Medicines Agency (EMA), according to an Intellectual Property Watch report in 2017. Like its model, the AMA will not replace existing national regulators. Instead, the AMA will aid those regulators with financing agendas and communications and conduct inspections of manufacturing facilities. It will also provide guidance on traditional medicines, emerging issues such as pandemics, and emergency management.


Image Credits: African Union.

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