-Against Counterfeit, Expired Medicines
The parliament and joint committees on health and social services, trade, customs and free movement of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have adopted a four count resolution against counterfeit drugs and expired medicines on the region.
The committees reached the decision to adopt the resolution following an intense five days of delocalized meeting held in Monrovia last week beginning April 10 and ends April 14 of this year.
The meeting which was held under the theme “ECOWAS policy on combating counterfeit medical products and expired drugs: the role of the parliament in implementation and monitoring the policy,” was geared towards ensuring the effective existence of an ECOWAS policy on the fight against counterfeit medicines and expired drugs.
The meeting also ensured the implementation of the policy in the region in order to coordinate the parliament and the West Africa Health Organization (WAHO) efforts to lead the fight together.
The resolution includes the encouragement of all ECOWAS member states to establish community legislation on the fight against counterfeit and expired medicines and, to launch a large skill investigation on trafficking on the region.
It furthered stated among other things, to sponsor a campaign against counterfeit medicines and expired drugs and to take all necessary and possible measures so as to combat this menace in the region.
“Call on the national parliaments of ECOWAS member states to support this initiative and work towards the achievement of its objectives and direct its speaker to forward this resolution to the president of ECOWAS commission for onward transmission to the head of ECOWAS authority of heads of states and governments,” the resolution noted.
At the same time, the joint committees also advanced some recommendations that could, according them help in the process of fighting counterfeit and expired medicines. The committees recommended the regulation in the sector of the production and importation of medical product and ensure regular monitoring and evaluation, thus, promoting cooperation between the importing and exporting countries of medical products.
The joint committees recommend a transparent and verifiable chain of control from production to distribution of medicines and strengthened public awareness by focusing on the lethal and harmful effects of counterfeit medicines and empower consumers to become involved in the authentication of pharmaceutical products. Meanwhile, the joint committees’ resolution and recommendations are subjected to the parliament’s approval in session in May of this year.
By: Jackson C. Clay, Jr.