IAPO’s African members come together in Entebbe, Uganda, to call for a patient-centric African Medicines Agency

Monday, 10 July 2017

On 4th - 5th July 2017, 30 of IAPO’s member organizations and stakeholders, representing ten African countries, came together in Entebbe, Uganda, to attend our African Regional Meeting. The meeting culminated in delegates making a united call for a patient-centred African Medicines Agency (AMA), in which patients are meaningfully engaged.

The meeting, which was co-hosted by the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations and the Uganda Alliance of Patients’ Organizations, saw IAPO members taking part in and actively contributing to a wide range of interactive sessions, workshops, and networking activities.

Delegates engaged in lively and fervent discussions around the on-going African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization (AMRH) initiative, exchanging views and perspectives on how African patients can be feasibly and meaningfully involved in the establishment and future development of the African Medicines Agency (AMA), which is set to be launched by the end of 2018.

Key Take-aways

  • IAPO’s African members acknowledged that stronger regulatory harmonisation in drug development and licensing has the potential to contribute to tackling some of the continent’s most urgent issues, such as access to safe, efficacious, and quality assured medicines.  However, because AMA’s establishment will have such a strong impact on every patients’ quality of care, our members stated with one clear voice through a joint statement, that patients must not be left out of the harmonisation process.
  • Delegates reiterated their commitment to ensuring that no patient is left behind. Leaving no-one behind means taking appropriate measures to facilitate patients’ meaningful involvement in discussions and decisions on issues that concern them.
  • The African Regional Meeting built on the strong belief that coming together is the best way for patients to ensure that key decision-makers will listen to their concerns and views. This is the spirit with which IAPO and its African members will continue to work together in the forthcoming months towards a patient-centric, inclusive and transparent AMA.
  • Key issues to come out of the meeting were around the need for stronger funding mechanisms to allow patient organizations to build up crucial resources, and the need to continue building the network of patient advocates in Africa to ensure effective and influential partnerships can be created.