Tanzania: Massive Reforms Up Drug Safety

THE quality and safety of medicines in the country have improved by more than 96 per cent over the past four years, according to Medicine and Medical Devices Authority (TMDA) Acting Director-General Mr Adam Fimbo.

"The Post Marketing Surveillance Programme (PMS) conducted shows improved quality and safety of medicine of 1,136 tested samples during the period and 96 per cent of medicine produced locally and those imported meet all required standards," he noted.

Mr Fimbo made the revelation in Dar es Salaam on Friday during a media briefing session on the achievement recorded by the Fifth Phase ad ministration over the past four years.

The Acting Director-General further explained that of the 144 samples of veterinary medicines examined during the period, 90 per cent contin ued to meet the quality criterion.

Mr Fimbo said on the part of medical devices and reagents, 405 surveyed samples in the market were found to be meeting quality criteria.

"These results are an indicator that medicines, medical devices and reagents available in the market meet quality standards and safety," he said.

Moreover, he said sub-standard pharmaceutical products and medical devices in the Tanzanian market slowed significantly as since the year 2018/2019 , they had burned 664.68 tonnes compared to 140,705.25 tonnes burnt in 2017/2018.

In controlling import and export of goods and speedy clearance of cargo at the port, the authority has put its 24-hour inspectors in line with the electronic filing system, which allows customers to send requests and make payments anywhere and get permits within 24 hours.

"Using this system, issuance of permits for exporting and importing has increased; in 2018/2019, a total of 26,478 permits were issued, equivalent to an increase of 203 per cent compared to 13,018 permits issued in 2015/2016," he explained.

Towards, improving availability of health commodities in Tanzania, TMDA has supported the introduction of 12 pharmaceutical industries and medical devices, seven of them producing human medicines, four producing veterinary medicines and one facility manufacturing health devices.

According to him, TMDA did, over a four-year period, register 20,247 products based on increased awareness of legal requirements for business and business growth and in registering area of service a total of 32,860 retail locations, warehouses; wholesale and retail stores were registered.

Besides, 18,753 sites dealing with pharmaceutical, medical devices and reagents were inspected with an increase of 108 per cent of the 17,250 sites surveyed between 2017/2018 and 2018/2019.

In the area of raising awareness, he said over the period, they had reached 179,856 stakeholders who had been enlightened on the functions, responsibilities and procedures of TMDA in 23 regions of mainland Tanzania through public lectures, the media and short messages on the proper use of products.

Mr Fimbo said that apart from creating the stringent system, the achievement recorded was due to enhanced collaboration between his institution and stakeholders, including the general public.

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