Tanzania urges EAC partners to curb counterfeit medical products


DAR ES SALAAM, Oct. 10 — The government of Tanzania has urged
member states of the East African Community (EAC) to control the
manufacturing and smuggling of sub-standard and counterfeit medical
products, a statement by the Information Services said on Sunday.

Mpoki Ulisubisya, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Community
Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, urged the EAC member states to
adopt laws that will be harmonized in the region to allow for cross-border
control of counterfeit medical products as perpetrators did not distinguish
borders.”Concerted efforts are needed to curb clandestine manufacturing and
smuggling of falsified medical products that end-up to users,” the
statement quoted Ulisubisya as saying.He said if sub-standard and
counterfeit medical products found their way into the regional market,
people could fall victims and could end up in hospitals with devastating
health problems.

Ulisubisya told the 10th Steering Committee Meeting of the EAC Medical
Regulatory Harmonization Program in Dar es Salaam that collective efforts
were needed to ensure the region was free from sub-standard and counterfeit
medical products. He told committee members who comprised of chief
pharmacists from EAC partner states and heads of national medicines
regulatory authorities in the region that the institutions they were
leading were very crucial in protecting and promoting public health in the
region. “These institutions provide a rate-limiting step in any healthcare
system to halt poor quality, unsafe and ineffective medical products from
reaching our markets,” he said. He said the EAC member states of Tanzania,
Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan have set a target that by
the end of this year all medicines and medical equipment entering into any
member state must be of the same quality as per agreed regulations by the
region.

Ulisubisya said the EAC Medicine Harmonization Program under review which
began in 2012 has recorded good results as it has managed to put in place
harmonization systems, setting up guidelines and procedures.He appreciated
the technical and financial support offered to the program by various
partners including World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation, the Swiss Development Cooperation, the United Kingdom’s
Department for International Development and the World Bank. – XINHUA