Africa-EU Businesses, International Organisations Send Recommendations On Health To Leaders 02/04/2014 by JosÃ©phine De Ruyck for Intellectual Property Watch and William New 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Representatives of private sector, international organisations and others from Europe and Africa this week delivered a set of recommendations on health and pharmaceuticals to the two regions’ leaders ahead of their summit taking place today and tomorrow. The list of recommendations, which includes commitments on substandard and counterfeit medicines, emerged from a roundtable on health and pharmaceuticals held at the 5th EU-Africa Business Forum, which took place from 31 March to 1 April in Brussels. The list was expected to be passed on to heads of state meeting at the IV EU-Africa Summit on 2-3 April in Brussels. Key points of the list include: criminalising counterfeiting of medicines; EU-African cooperation; a discussion forum; investment policies and private-public partnership; business linkages (joint venture, technology transfers, voluntary licensing and patent pooling); and reliable demand forecasting models. The full recommendations to leaders from the forum are: AU – EU political commitment at the summit to take immediate action, in coordination with WHO, to ban substandard medicines causing health risks: setting up rigorous product quality testing, pharmacovigilance systems and regional bioequivalence centers; implementation of the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization program (AMRH) and establishment of the African Medicines Regulatory Agency (AMA). Immediate political commitment is needed from country health authorities to agree on necessary resources on national, regional or pan-African level. All governments criminalizing counterfeiting of medicines, by e.g. implementing national and regional laws or sign the MEDICRIME Convention Increase EU-African collaboration on universal health coverage alongside those countries that mobilized resources towards the Abuja commitment of 15% of her national budget for health. Create a Europe-Africa discussion forum for the understanding of the 3 dimensions of HS: Building Blocks, Health Programs and Performance Drivers. Develop sound national and regional investment policies and create Infrastructure Investment Fund that boosts local private sector participation in infrastructure delivery, and promotes PPP in this area. European Union to support the African Union to actively encourage the Business Plan of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa (PMPA BP), including financing and facilitating business linkages (e.g. joint ventures, technology transfers, voluntary licensing and patent pooling). EU and African Union to support countries in developing reliable demand forecasting models of key drugs and vaccines, that will drive economies of scale and market size necessary for local production.  See: http://www.coe.int/t/DGHL/StandardSetting/MediCrime/Default_en.asp Health Roundtable The business forum is held in the broader context of the 2007 Joint Africa-EU Strategy, which aims to strengthen partnerships between the continents. The business forum included a roundtable entitled, “Promoting Growth, Innovation and Access to Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals through EU-Africa Business cooperation, including local production of generic medicines in Africa.” The roundtable, chaired by Medicines Patent Pool Executive Director Greg Perry, focused on three main themes: regulatory capacity enhancement, health system structure and collaborative efforts increasing access and local production. “The health and pharmaceutical roundtable,” Perry said afterward, “called upon the EU and the AU to support the implementation of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa Business Plan, and in parallel work together to enhance African regulatory capacity and regional harmonisation, combat substandard and fake drugs and encourage EU-African partnerships to promote access and local production as well as improve health care structures.” “Our roundtable was well attended with industry from both Africa and Europe, regulatory agencies, WHO, UNIDO, and various NGOs,” Perry said. “I think the real issue now is ensuring that both the European Union and the African Union actively pursue these recommendations adopted by both African and European colleagues.” On regulatory capacity enhancement, as explained European Generic Medicines Association Nick Haggar, is “an immediate political commitment is needed from country health authorities to agree on setting up rigorous product quality testing, pharmacovigilance systems and regional bioequivalence centres, implementation of the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization program and establishment of the African Medicines Regulatory Agency.” “A major challenge facing African health systems today is how to guarantee the quality and safety of medicines as well as affordability and take strong action against poor quality and counterfeit medicines that put patients in danger,” Haggar said. The forum also underlined the importance of the use of EU-Africa partnership for meeting challenges such as bilateral trade and investment and market integration. A common challenge remains to consolidate sustainable economic growth while creating jobs and enhancing public-private partnerships, according to a press release. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related JosÃ©phine De Ruyck may be reached at email@example.com.William New may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."Africa-EU Businesses, International Organisations Send Recommendations On Health To Leaders" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.