The East Africa Community can be transformed economically when the Pharmaceutical industry is rendered more implementation attention.
This is one of the latest resolutions on the need to invest and redefine the pharmaceuticals industry in the regional economic bloc passed today during the two day first International Multistakeholders conference that took place from November 2 to 4 in Nairobi, Kenya.
It was concluded that with a dynamic pharmaceutical sector, the region can have access to medicinal, transformational and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well enhancing inclusive growth in the health sector and the economy.
Stakeholders agreed that the EAC and FEAPM will put in place robust Incentive Framework to lure investments in regional pharmaceutical manufacturing.
The regional bloc nodded it would ensure policy cohesion across all health sectors, industry, trade, commerce and customs so that there is access even at national levels to the EAC Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan of Action (EACRPMPOA ) 2017-2027, the EAC Medicines and Health Technologies Policy and Strategic Plan 2016-2021 in preparation.
EAC Pharmaceutical manufacturing sector will have to capitalize on the available market ensuring that the medical products are safe, are efficacious and of acceptable quality to assure customers trust and confidence.
Investments will be done under the single registration of medical products that are marketed in the five EAC member countries as required by the Medicines Regulatory Harmonization scheme and the joint Harmonized Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) inspections to avoid duplication of efforts, costs and time to the sector.
Governments that are members to the regional bloc have also been urged to give the locally produced pharmaceutical products up to 30% preference in their procurement so that they creating necessary demand for locally manufactured products in accordance to Article 35 of the EAC Common Market Protocol. The article urges countries in that context to make sure that the products are extended to all suppliers within the region.
The governments will also make certain that the Intellectual Property Rights are recommended under their respective laws as per stipulated in the Regional Intellectual Property Policy on utilization of Public Health Related World Trade Organization – Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) .
EAC Competition Policy will be implemented to improve coordination, combat substandard, fake, falsely labeled, falsified and counterfeit products and is so doing commit to undertake pharma covigillance and post market surveillance activities.
The bloc would then collaborate with FEAPM to formulate a regional skills development and partnership program based on the assessment needs in pharmaceutical manufacturing and research centers.
The Conference was officially opened by Christopher Bazivamo, EAC Deputy Secretary General Productive and Social sectors. It attracted among others Phyllis Kandie the EAC Cabinet Secretary, Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Kenya and Dr. Josiane Nijimbere, Minister for Health and Fight against AIDS, Republic of Burundi.
The conference was attended by local and international pharmaceutical manufacturers, cooperate partnership experts, stakeholders from Ministries of Health, Finance, Trade and Industry, National Medicines Regulatory Authorities (NMRAs), National Medicines Procurement Agencies (NMPAs), and development partners including UNAIDS, Swiss Tropical Institute.
It was organized by the East African Community Secretariat (EAC), Ministry of East African Community, Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Kenya, GIZ/GFA Project on Pharmaceutical Sector promotion, Federation of East African Pharmaceutical Manufacturer’s Association (FEAPM), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank, African Union NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and German Metrology Institute (PTB).