Jamal Taoufik, the Director of Medicine and Pharmacy at the Moroccan Ministry for Health will be the president of a new Africa-wide pharmaceutical regulation body, fighting counterfeit drugs across the continent.
Rabat – The new Africa-wide pharmaceutical regulation body was launched at the 20th annual International Pharmaceutical Forum, held last week in Marrakech.
The new regulating body, the Association of African Pharmaceutical Regulation Authorities (AANRP), aims to harmonize the regulation of health products in Africa.
Its goal is to reinforce existing systems of regulation in order to promote the pharmaceutical industry across the continent. It also aims to reinforce the cooperation between states in relation to pharmaceutical policies, and the quality control of medication.
According to research released in January by the European Union-funded ENACT project, substandard and fake medicines pose a “significant threat” to Africa.
According to 2016 UN research, African states import 70% of their pharmaceutical products.
Only 37 out of 54 African states have some level of pharmaceutical production, meaning states spend their resources on procuring rather than creating the drugs. The ENACT report warns that as demand grows and new, legitimate firms enter the African production markets, so will counterfeiters.
According to ENACT, “counterfeiters find Africa an easy target, because it has not developed the West’s armoury of responses to counterfeit pharmaceuticals.”
The new AANRP body will work to tackle these counterfeiting issues.
The Republic of Congo, Cameroon, and Niger will also be on the board of the organization alongside Morocco.
Last week’s International Pharmaceutical Forum in Marrakech brought together more than 3000 doctors, pharmacists, researchers, distributors, and other pharmaceutical industry stakeholders from across Africa.