Strong Regulatory System Required for Safe Quality Medicines, Vaccines, Says NAFDAC Boss

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, has said only a strong regulatory system will guarantee and accelerate the development, approval and access to safe and effective quality therapeutic medicines and vaccines in countries across the world. 

A statement by the Resident Media Consultant of NAFDAC,

Sayo Akintola, quoted Adeyeye as having 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.

Speaking as the only panelist selected from Africa at the summit with the theme: “Building a Global Vision for Product and Drug Development: Challenges and Opportunities,” Adeyeye, admonished nations on the premise of strengthening of regulatory system in compliance with the World Health Assembly Resolution 67.20 of 2014 in other to build the capacity of member states with the ultimate goal to have access to quality medicines to different low, medium income countries.

She said WHO supports member-states in reaching and sustaining effective regulatory oversight of medical products through the regulatory systems strengthening RSS programme.

The NAFDAC boss 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 FDA as reference which is categorised as Maturity Level 4’’, she said; “you cannot get Maturity Level 3 without taking care of all the indicators under Levels 1, and 2. You cannot get Maturity Level 4 without taking care of all the indicators in ML1, ML2 and ML3.”

Speaking on, “Global Benchmarking Tool and Access to Medicines,” at the annual global event, Adeyeye noted that there was no 95 or 99 per cent in terms of WHO Global Benchmarking.

She noted that the GBT essentially facilitated NAFDAC to identify weaknesses and strength in licencing of products, in the manufacturers and distributors compliance, “in how effective is our post marketing surveillance- are we doing containment of market control in terms of illicit trade, are we doing well in terms of regulatory inspection; Good Manufacturing Practice compliance, are the manufacturers adhering to that? How good are our laboratories?”

Adeyeye told the summit that NAFDAC was benchmarked on seven functions plus licencing establishment which was under the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) jurisdiction, stressing that both agencies were benchmarked together.

She said the agency met and satisfied 268 indicators and 860 recommendations, adding that the 268 indicators were distributed under Maturity Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4.

“We were able to attain Maturity Level 3 after meeting   all the requirements. We were declared in March 2020.’’

She however, noted that attaining Maturity Level 4 would not be too difficult, adding that, “some of the standards or indicators we have already met.”

She said her agency was working round the clock as she has already set out targets for Maturity Level 4.

According to Adeyeye, “there is what is called the World Listed Authority where it’s almost like a specialised grouping,” adding that part of Maturity Level 4 indicators also applies to World Listed Authority.

“We are working for both in order to ensure that our system is well established and stable and well-functioning as a regulatory agency.”

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