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[e-drug] A suggestion for improving Access to genuine drugs (4)

E-DRUG: A suggestion for improving Access to genuine drugs (4)
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Dear Tapiwa Mupereki and E-druggers,
 
It is very easy to make statements like yours [Why EU seizes Indian drugs 
(Former India WTO Amb) (10)] that African manufacturers should take a step 
ahead and produce effective, safe and  quality medicines. However, no body is 
providing practical solutions on how to accomplish this. It should be noted 
medicines production is still seen as 'rocket science' in most parts of the 
continent therefore a less attractive area for investment. The regulatory and 
certification bottlenecks also compound this problem. I will suggest the 
following long term solutions:
 
- Companies with no experience in medicine production could start with simple 
options such as medicine packaging (of imported bulk formulated products). This 
could be a first step towards producing generics
 
- Countries with experience in medicines production such as Nigeria, South 
Africa, Morocco should take up their place as the 'India' , 'China' and 
'Malaysia' of Africa by producing affordable quality generic medicines. In 
turn neighbouring countries can easily start up similar production units by 
acquiring local or regional technology transfer skills
 
- Break down medicine production to simple science by creating suitable 
learning and training environments; incorporate pharmaceutical technology as 
separate courses in the curriculum. If no pharmacy schools are present, 
chemistry depts can take up this challenge. 
 
- Increase capacity for pharmacists and other front end medical practitioners. 
These are the persons who have direct contact with the public and who can be 
relied upon for providing reliable and accurate information on the use of 
medicines. With certified pharmacies existing in every community, interested 
entrepreneurs can venture into the medicine production business.
 
Kind regards.

Magnus A. Atemnkeng
(Quality Assurance Personnel, Montreal, Canada)
magnusajong@yahoo.com

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