Progress Toward African Medicines Agency & Vaccine Manufacturing in Africa

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David Mukanga of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gives an overview of the latest developments on the long road towards the creation of an African Medicines Agency and the push to establish vaccine manufacturing facilities on the continent.

 

Since the minimum number of 15 ratifications by African Union (AU) countries was reached to establish the African Medicines Agency (AMA) in November 2021, the AU has stepped up efforts, through the African Union Commission and the African Union Development Agency, to prepare for the opening of the AMA Secretariat. They have developed a joint workplan, with elements including a continued push for further ratification by additional countries, developing an AMA roadmap for the first year and subsequent years, setting up AMA’s core activities and detailed procedures, and developing AMA business processes (including enterprise resource planning). They also agreed on the division of labor between their respective organizations and have started to engage with multiple partners around this workplan, including the European Medicines Agency (EMA), national regulators in Europe and elsewhere, and funding partners, among others, to explore how they can leverage others’ experiences in support of setting up the AMA. Formal assessment of the eight host country candidates has been completed, and the Executive Council of the AU will meet in July 2022 to decide on this host.

During the first meeting of the Conference of the States Parties (Ministers of Health from AMA-ratified countries) held in June 2022 in Addis Ababa, the African Union Commission reaffirmed its commitment to providing all necessary support toward the earliest operationalization of the AMA, and highlighted the importance of AMA operationalization to enhancing regional capacity to regulate medicines, medical products, and healthcare technology. The AU press release provides further details about this meeting.

 

Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM)

Following the supply chain constraints faced by Africa during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and the initial access difficulties with COVID-19 vaccines, Africa’s heads of state and government decided that Africa should take its future into its own hands and established the PAVM with the goal of ensuring that 60% of vaccines consumed in Africa are produced on the continent by 2040.

 

Read the full article on the DIA Global Forum website here


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