The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC} is set to host the third African Medicine Quality Forum (AMQF) meeting, at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja, from 24 – 28 February, 2020.
The AMQF was established in 2017 as a Technical Working Group of African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization (AMRH) that is jointly domiciled at AUDA-NEPAD and WHO, Geneva as joint secretariats. The goal is to build and strengthen the capacity of African countries in medicines quality control and regional post marketing surveillance which in turn, will contribute significantly to reducing sub-standard and falsified medical products in circulation in the African markets.
In a statement signed by NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, it was noted that the meeting will convene all members of the AMQF including its Technical Committee (TC), leadership from USP, AUDA-NEPAD, WHO, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Health Organizations (RHOs) as well as other partners and key stakeholders.
The conference themed: “2020: Perfect vision for quality of medicines in Africa’’ is jointly sponsored by World Bank, NAFDAC, West African Health Organisation (WAHO), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), AU-NEPAD, United States Pharmacopeia (USP) World Health Organisation (WHO) and manufacturers.
Adeyeye highlighted some of the responsibilities of AMQF including driving the harmonization of Quality Control (QC) standards and practices and, ultimately the mutual recognition of QC tests among African countries. It is a platform for a holistic continental quality control agenda that facilitates sharing of best practices, an advocacy platform to raise the national and international visibility of National Quality Control Laboratories ((NQCL)
She stated that AMQF membership is open to heads of NQCLs from all African countries and formally reports to the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization (AMRH) Steering Committee.
Her words: “NAFDAC looks forward to support and collaboration from all stakeholders in delivering safe and quality medicines, and all Nigerians towards a successful hosting of this continental meeting.
“I believe that at the end the meeting, the Heads of Quality Control Laboratories from the over 35 African countries would have achieved a clearer picture of the importance of the NQCLs and their convergence for collaborative reliance at the regional and continental levels. This realization will ensure that substandard, falsified and counterfeit drugs products will be reduced to a minimum”, she remarked.
Some of the objectives of the Abuja meeting include: Reinforce the importance of quality control laboratories in post marketing surveillance; Strengthen regional/cross border collaborative survey of medicines in Africa as a means of protecting public health; Familiarize regional economic communities with instrumentation and analytical techniques to facilitate convergence for ensuring quality of medicines; Complete the roadmap for strengthening national quality control laboratories infrastructure and systems to help make informed, reliable and consistent regulatory decisions.
Other goals of the third AMQF conference are : Emphasize the importance of Quality Control in the entire drug approval process: Manufacturing to Post-marketing; Sensitize National Medicines Quality Control Laboratories on the importance of drafting laboratory strategic and business plan to ensure continual provision of quality control testing that meet international standards of quality and develop proposal to ensure that national medicine quality control laboratories have the required legal mandate and well-defined scope of activities.