Senegal – The challenge of building capacity in the pharmaceutical sector

October 20, 2014 10:41 am0 commentsViews: 84
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King Mohammed VI of Morocco, inaugurating West Africa Pharma, the new factory built by SOTHEMA (Morocco) in Senegal.

Validation Workshop to document the national drug policy

A workshop for technical validation to document the national drug policy of Senegal included experts from the Ministry of Health and its partners. This was organized by the Directorate of Pharmacy and Drugs (DPM) in Senegal, recently for two days in Dakar. The document aims to build capacity in the pharmaceutical sector in Senegal to effectively fight against the proliferation of counterfeit drugs, ensuring improved quality and provide access to low cost essential drugs to the population.

The recent evaluation of the system in place revealed, among others, a weakness in the availability of drugs with accessibility problems for vulnerable or poor and without health insurance. Indeed, despite efforts, there is still a large gap between the primary health care needs for medicines and resources.

The representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Mamadou Ngom, asked the authorities to ensure that good quality medicines are available and accessible to all segments of the population at low cost. The Director General of Health, Dr. Pape Amadou Diack, who also lamented the low rate of local drug production, estimates that the validation of the document will define suitable strategies to address, identify problems, analyzing the current situation and consider prospects for developing the pharmaceutical sub-sector. “All the policy documents of the Ministry of Health state that the availability of quality medicines is a major objective and a constant concern in the health sector” said the Director General of Health, which advocates improved access to quality medicines. In our country, the rate of production of pharmaceuticals has been stagnant at 15% for several years. Consequence: the country imports more than 75% of drugs. The establishment of a pharmaceutical industry in our country will help improve and better control the quality and supply of drugs. Better, he says, “this industry will participate in the creation of jobs and if we can produce many molecules in our country, it will make these drugs affordable.” Most pharmaceutical products used in Africa come from Asian countries.” In addition, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is planning to create a national commission to fight against illicit and poor quality drugs.

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