NAFDAC DG Advocates Strong Regulatory System to Boost therapeutic medicines vaccines Devt in low income countries

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By Aderogba George

Prof.  Moji Adeyeye, Director-General,  National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has sought  for a regulatory system for effective quality therapeutic medicines and vaccines in low and medium income countries.
The D-G made the appeal in a statement signed by the agency’s  resident media consultant, Mr Olusayo Akintola on Wednesday in Abuja.
The D-G made the assertion while speaking at the hybrid University of California San Francisco UCSF)-Stanford Centre of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation, (UCSF-Stanford CERSI) summit in the United States.
 Adeyeye spoke at the summit as the only panelist selected from Africa on the theme: “Building a Global Vision for Product and Drug Development: Challenges and Opportunities”.
Adeyeye said that only  a strong regulatory system would guarantee and accelerate the development, approval, and access of safe and effective quality therapeutic medicines and vaccines in low, medium income countries of the world.
She admonished nations on the premise of strengthening regulatory system in compliance with the World Health Assembly Resolution 67.20 of 2014, to build the capacity of member states with the ultimate goal to have access to quality medicines to different low, medium income countries.
According to her, the World Health Organisation (WHO) supports member states in reaching and sustaining effective regulatory oversight of medical products through the regulatory systems strengthening RSS programme.
She explained to the global audience how NAFDAC under her leadership, used the WHO Global Benchmarking Tools to achieve the Maturity Level 3 WHO Certification Status in March 2022 and its significance to Nigeria.
Using US Food and Drug Agency as reference which was categorised as Maturity Level four, Adeyeye said that ‘’you cannot get Maturity Level three without taking care of all the indicators under Levels one, and two. and indicators in MLone, MLtwo and MLthree.”
Speaking on ‘’Global Benchmarking Tool and Access to Medicines’’ at the annual global event, she noted that there was no 95 or 99 per cent in terms of WHO Global Benchmarking.
She disclosed that the GBT essentially facilitated NAFDAC to identify weaknesses and strength in licensing of products, in the manufacturers and distributors compliance, and how effective and how its post marketing surveillance were doing to contain market control in terms of illicit trade.
She disclosed that NAFDAC was benchmarked on seven functions including licensing establishment which was under the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) jurisdiction, adding that both agencies were benchmarked together.
She said the agency met and satisfied 268 indicators and 860 recommendations, noting that 268 indicators were distributed under Maturity Levels one, two, three, and four and we were able to attain Maturity Level three after meeting all the requirements and were declared in March 2020.
She, however, noted that attaining Maturity Level four would not be too difficult and that some of the standards or indicators had  already been met.
She said that NAFDAC was  working round the clock as she had already set out targets for Maturity Level four and that the agency was  working for both in order to ensure that the system was well established and stable and well-functioning as a regulatory agency.
The NAFDAC boss,  however,  emphasised the importance of reliance for different regulatory agencies in the world, adding that reliance represented a smarter way of regulating medical products through collaboration, shared knowledge, experience, and resources.
“The reliance is among the different functions such as regulatory inspection, lab testing, clinical trials, market authorization, pharmacovigilance, market control and licensing establishment.
She explained that there was a lot of reliance within different functions and there had to be a reliance between agencies, adding that agencies had to collaborate, identify weak links and leverage on the experience of others, mentor others.
She stated that there could not be local manufacturing without a strong regulatory system, adding that NAFDAC was using a lot of tools to ensure that products from Nigeria were more affordable and were of high quality using different GMP inspection.
She disclosed that the agency had employed detection devices to get rid of infiltrations in the supply chain,  adding that NAFDAC was  now  using traceability Track and Trace GS1 to monitor falsified medicines.

Ibrahim Abusadiq