A World Health Organization (WHO) mission on formal benchmarking of Malawi’s national medicine regulatory system concluded on Friday with a call for increased technical and financial support towards strengthening capacity of Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority (PMRA) to effectively carry out its regulatory mandate.
The mission was in the country for a week-long assessment of the status of PMRA’s key regulatory functions in the areas of medicines using WHO’s global benchmarking tool (GBT) with the overall objective of helping in the formulation and establishment of a comprehensive institutional development plan (IDP) for PMRA to address existing as well as potential gaps.
Speaking when the mission presented its findings and recommendations in Lilongwe, Chairperson of the Medicine Safety Committee of the PMRA Board Dr. Lilian Chunda said there was need for stakeholders and partners to join hands with government in supporting PMRA in the implementation of the WHO recommendations.
“We set out expressing interest for this benchmarking exercise exactly for the reason of getting an objective third party assessment so that we know what gaps are there and what we need to do to address them.
“I, therefore, wish to invite stakeholders to support the implementation of the institutional Development Plan so that in a few years to come we are able to realise the gains from this investment by WHO,” said Chunda.
She thanked WHO County Office and WHO-Geneva for investing in the benchmarking exercise and pledged the Board’s commitment to implement recommendations of the benchmarking mission.
Meanwhile, the WHO benchmarking mission team leader Mohamed Refaat said WHO is committed to supporting strengthening of specific regulatory functions of the PMRA as per the mission’s recommendations.
Refaat has since called on PMRA to own the institutional development plan and play leading role in its implementation adding that partners are only there to provide support.