The quest for WHO prequalification by pharmaceutical firms
Friday, March 14, 2014
Annually, millions of patients in resource-limited countries receive life-saving medicines that are purchased by or through international procurement agencies such as World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNITAID and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.
While WHO Prequalification of Medicines Programme ensures that selected medicines supplied by these agencies meet international standards of quality, safety and efficacy, the WHO and the Global Fund spends over N20 billion annually in procuring drugs for malaria, TB and AIDS intervention programmes in Nigeria from especially India and Brazil because no pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria is pre-qualified.
With Nigerian pharmaceutical firms not currently in a position to participate in international tenders for medicines against the three pandemics that require WHO prequalification, health experts identify this as a major constraint on the local supply of medicines, especially anti-retroviral (ARVs), anti-malarial and anti-tuberculosis agents.
- Health Care