Minister of Health Hon. Khumbize Kandondo Chiponda has assured Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority (PMRA) of full government support to ensure the Authority rises above its challenges and begin to effectively discharge its expanded mandate.
Speaking during a tour of PMRA premises in Lilongwe Wednesday Chiponda observed that the Authority was yet to maximize its potential following its transformation into a regulatory authority from then Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Board.
“We’ll give you all the support you need to make [the Authority] a success. The last few years it hasn’t performed well. I know the potential the Authority has and we will do everything possible to make sure that you perform to the level we expect and even do much better,” said the Minister.
She was reacting to earlier remarks by Acting Director General Charles Chimenya who highlighted a number of challenges hampering effective operations of the Authority in line with the new PMRA Act.
The Acting Director General cited delay by the Ministry to gazette regulations that would operationalize the Act, low staffing levels and dwindling cash-flow as some of the bottlenecks choking the Authority to realize its full potential.
He, however, appraised the Minister on the strides the Authority was making in addressing the challenges including the functional review currently underway, development of website and social media presence, on-going development of communication policy and strategy, recruitment of public relations officer, among others.
PMRA Board Chairperson Frider Chimimba thanked the Minister for the visit and her assurances of government’s continued commitment to supporting the Authority to effectively carry out its expanded mandate.
PMRA was established by the Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority Act No.9 of 2019 to regulate medicines, allied substances and the exercise of the pharmaceutical profession in Malawi.
Other new regulatory areas include pharmacovigilance, quality control, import permits, and the revision of fines and penalties to ensure that they are stiff and deterrent enough against illegal medicine handling practices.