17 April 2017

West Africa: Ecowas Joint Committee Adopts Draft Resolution

The ECOWAS joint committee on Health and Social Services/Trade, Customs and Free Movement has adopted a draft resolution in Monrovia to combat the proliferation of counterfeit and expired medical products in West Africa.

The four-count resolution, which is subject to amendment, will be presented to the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, Nigeria by the Join Committees, and debated upon as a means of parliamentary procedure.

Following four days of deliberation in collaboration with the West African Health Organization intended to find a way forward in totally curbing the menace, the draft resolution mandates all member States to launch a large scale investigation into fake drugs trafficking, and sponsor a campaign against counterfeit medicines and or expired drugs as well as take all necessary measures to combat trafficking of counterfeit and expired medicines.

The document encourages all ECOWAS member States to establish community legislation on the fight against counterfeit and expired medicines, and calls on the national parliaments of ECOWAS Members States to support this initiative by working towards the achievement of its objectives as well as directs its speaker to forward the resolution to the President of the ECOWAS Commission for onward transmission to the chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States.

During the delocalized meeting, it wasrealized among other things that counterfeit medicines are harmful topublic health, contribute to the increase rate of infection, deprivecertified inventors and manufacturers and governments of financialrevenues.

The ECOWAS delocalized meeting held in Monrovia is the fourth of several other meetings which began in early 2016 with the fifthexpected to take place in Cape Verde shortly.

When the draft policy is adopted by the full plenary of the ECOWAS Parliament, it will be submitted to the Heads of States and indorsed, and the parliament will be expected to monitor its implementation.

The final draft resolution was read by the Raporteur of the committee SekouAbdoul Q. Cisse, who indicated that ECOWAS Policy on the fight against counterfeit medicines and measures taken by West African Health Organization to combat the contraband, among others.

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