Member States called to ratify the African Medicines Agency Treaty (AMAT)



Members of the Pan-African Parliament have underscored the need for Member States to ratify the African Medicines Agency Treaty that provides regulatory guidance to access safe, effective, quality and affordable medical essentials. The Treaty came as a response to the severe challenges faced by African health systems due to the prevalence of substandard and falsified medical products on the continent.

Chairperson of the PAP Health, Labour and Social Affairs Committee, Hon. Aurelien Simplice ZINGAS says the AMA Treaty has come at an opportune time when African Union Member States grapple with proliferation of falsified medical products that have adverse effects on the health of users.

“The African Medicines Agency Treaty aims to help our countries improve on the fragmented regulatory systems for product registration. This will in turn help us end the sale of substandard medical products to our people by unscrupulous suppliers. We, however, also need to play our role as member states and ratify this treaty because it is for our benefit,” said Hon. Zingas.

Mr. Paul TANUI of NEPAD said Africa needs new approaches for its growth and development, hence the need to stem out proliferation of substandard and falsified medical products.

“The sale of substandard and falsified medical products is a billion-dollar industry, and this essentially means that Member States are losing out on this revenue. The AMA Treaty therefore comes as a corrective measure that will strengthen national laws on medical products regulation,” he said.

NEPAD says the AMA Treaty satisfies World Health Organization (WHO) best practices on medical products regulation and is aligned with recommendations and international safety and quality standards. The Treaty was a commitment by African countries to deepen integration and enable development of markets for health commodities that benefit from tariff-free movement across borders and require efficient and effective regulation.

Members of Parliament emphasized the need and urgency to have AU Member States ratify the AMA Treaty. To date, Rwanda alone has ratified the Treaty while 15 other States have only signed the Treaty and are yet to complete the ratification process.