Over the past year, COVID-19 has shown us that we need stronger global supply chains to guarantee consistent access to quality-assured medicines when and where they are needed. In this month’s newsletter, we explore key elements for building a more resilient supply chain, highlighting what countries and organizations around the world are doing to address acute disruptions during the pandemic while ensuring lasting improvements.
Since the pandemic’s beginning, researchers have anticipated and documented rising reports of substandard and falsified (SF) medical products linked to COVID-19. These poor-quality products threaten the lives and well-being of people around the world and, if left unchecked, jeopardize response to the virus and progress on a range of disease areas.
The 7th meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) took place on 15 April 2021. On COVID-19 vaccination, the Committee advised to “Strengthen WHO and support strengthening of States Parties’ capacities to prevent, detect and respond to the growing threat of substandard and falsified vaccines.
As COVID-19 continues to test the limits of health care systems around the world, it has also spurred a concerning wave of poor-quality medical products. Intense global demand has led to overstretched drug production and supply chains and opportunities for bad actors. This has created ideal conditions for substandard and falsified (SF) versions of COVID-19 vaccines and essential medicines to spread.
A review of prospective pathways and impacts of COVID-19 on the accessibility, safety, quality, and affordability of essential medicines and vaccines for universal health coverage in Africa
The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has the potential to reverse progress towards global targets. This study examines the risks that the COVID-19 pandemic poses to equitable access to essential medicines and vaccines (EMV) for universal health coverage in Africa.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit is developed by over 30 independent expert volunteers led by USP’s Healthcare Safety and Quality Expert Committee with representation from several other Expert Committees including U.S. government representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). It is informed by USP’s public quality standards for compounding, microbiology, containers, distribution, stability and storage.
A critical part of the Asia Pacific Leaders’ Malaria Elimination Roadmap (‘the Roadmap’) endorsed in 2015 was the decision to develop a mechanism to track progress and achievements in malaria control and elimination across Asia and the Pacific. The APLMA Leaders’ Dashboard is the mechanism to help countries track progress towards the 2030 goal. It highlights bottlenecks, encourages prompt action, serves as a key advocacy tool to demonstrate progress in the region, and leverages Governments’ and partners continued support for financing malaria elimination. The Dashboard was key in developing the 5 Year Review of Progress since the launch of the Roadmap.
Zainab Abdullahi, a resident of Hausawa Sabon Titi in Kano, had a first-hand experience with substandard oxytocin. Oxytocin is a medication most commonly used in Nigeria for the prevention and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage. She barely survived childbirth after the administration of oxytocin injections which could not stop the excessive bleeding.
The African Medicines Agency (AMA) aims to provide a platform for the coordination and strengthening of ongoing medicines regulatory harmonization initiatives across the continent, and to ensure optimal use of scarce resources by pooling expertise, capacities and strengthening existing networks - for contributing to enhanced accessibility of quality-assured and affordable medical products. This review maps the key entities, milestones, implementation targets and anticipated challenges related to the domestication of the African Union (AU) Model Law on Medical Products Regulation, and the establishment of the AMA.
CNBC Africa speaks with a panel of experts from US Pharmacopeia, Sabine Vaccine Institute and Johns Hopkins IVAC on ensuring equitable access to quality-assured COVID-19 vaccines for African countries.