Africa must implement strong regulatory framework against illicit,fake and counterfeit medicines that have flooded markets in Africa.
Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union,Emmanuel Mwamba said the illicit medicines were costing both lives and huge financial losses to Africa’s economies.
He said the prevalence of fake medicines threatened the Sustainable Development Goal –SDG-for good health and well-being.
Mr Mwamba was commenting on the latest Report released by the African Union titled, “Low and Middle Income Countries Worst Affected by Poor Pharmaceutical Governance, Weak Technical Capacity and Poor Supply Chain Management.”
The Report has established that Africa accounts for 42 percent of substandard, counterfeit and falsified medicines in the world.
And Mr Mwamba said the creation of the Africa Medicines Agency(AMA) as a continental regulatory body on medicines, will help mitigate the vice of fake, counterfeit and illicit medicines present on the markets in Africa.
He said Africa’s 2nd Continental Health Agency, after the Africa CDC, will also help strengthen capacity to manufacture drugs in member states than the current scenario where medicines were imported from outside Africa.
Mr Mwamba emphasized that the AU is hopeful that the establishment of the African Medicines Authority would provide regulatory guidance, complement and enhance collaboration and contribute to improving patients access to quality, safe and efficacious medical products and health technologies on the continent.
The Global market volume of falsified medicines and medical products could be up to US$200 billion , and upto 70% of the total medicines in circulation is falsified medicines prevalent in many parts of Africa.
The WHO estimates that 10.5%of medicines worldwide are substandard or falsified .
This is contained in a statement issued by Inutu Mwanza First Secretary- Press &Tourism Zambia Embassy, Addis Ababa Ethiopia.