The World Health Organization (WHO) has informed that Tanzania has become the first country in Africa to achieve a well-functioning regulatory system for medicines and other medical products.
The UN agency said that Tanzania's Food and Drug Authority has made considerable improvements over the years to ensure access to good quality and safe medicines to the patients. The Tanzania FDA was set up in 2003 and it has met all indicators set up by the WHO.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director, Africa, said that provision of medicines to patients is not enough if medicines lack quality. Dr Moeti said that this is a major milestone and it will inspire other African countries.
The WHO emphasized that usage of medicines can be hazardous if produced, imported, stored, transported, abused or used incorrectly. Therefore, it becomes very important to have good regulatory systems to promote timely access to quality drugs.
The WHO has a Global Benchmarking Tool (GBT) to check the regulatory functions of FDAs of various countries against a set of more than 200 indicators. The GBT indicators include product authorization, market surveillance and the detection of potential adverse-effects for establishing their level of maturity.