LMHRA Joins WA-MRH 10 Technical Expert Working Groups

MONROVIA-The Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA), has formed part of the 10 Technical Expert Working Group at the recently-concluded 13th Steering Committee Meeting of the West African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization (WA-MRH) Initiative.

The Liberian Delegation, which was headed by the Technical Advisor to the Managing Director, Dr. G. Flomoku Miller, represented Liberia’s National Medicines Regulatory Authority. Other Members of the Delegation included: LMHRA’s Director of Pharmaco-vigilance, Dr. James Goteh; Manager of Clinical Trials, Dr. Juwe Kercula; Manager of Registration, Records, Data, and Evaluation, Pharmacist Emmanuel Willie; and the Manager of Quality Assurance at the Quality Control Laboratory, Professor Alexander George.

According to the Liberian Delegation, the purpose of the WA-MRH 13th Steering Committee held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from the 27th to 28th of April 2023, was to install the newly appointed Members of the Ten Technical Expert Working Group (EWG); which is geared towards the support of the WA-MRH Initiative.

The 13th Steering Committee Meeting is within the framework of the implementation of the WA-MRH initiative, which is jointly coordinated by the West African Health Organization (WAHO) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), with support from Partners such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) and the World Health Organization.

The LMHRA Delegation in a dispatch, noted that the meeting was geared towards the ECOWAS Member States’ National Medicines Regulatory Authorities consensus to establish the ten technical EWGs, whose role is to provide technical support in the implementation of the initiative.

It can be recalled that after the launch of the Expression of Interest (EOI) in March of 2022, to solicit applications from the 15 member states to renew the EWG Experts, the Selection of these experts was presented to and approved at the 12th WA-MRH Steering Committee virtual Meeting held on the 7th of December 2022. WAHO therefore, organize an installation meeting which was recently held in Abidjan from the 27-28 of April 2023 to formally initiate the new Expert Members of the EWGs to begin their work.

Accordingly, the 13th Steering Committee Meeting also served as a framework for the various EWGs to develop their annual work plans.

The ECOWAS, through WAHO has been making efforts in all ECOWAS Countries to address the issues of medicines quality in the Western African Region. Thus, WAHO with support from partners, committed themselves in 2014 to implement a single and integrated management system for medicines registration harmonization in the region, under the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization (AMRH) and the Global Medicines Regulatory Harmonization (GMRH) initiatives.

The EWG further recommended providing technical support for implementing the MRH’s initiative in West Africa. These EWG consisting of experts from the 15 Countries in the region, according to the dispatch, were drawn from the various Ministers of Health, National Regulatory Authorities (NRMAs) Universities, and research centers; particularly responsible for all technical issues, including the drafting of guidelines and harmonized technical procedures for the various component of the initiatives.

Earlier, the seven EWGs included: Evaluation and Registration of Medical Products; Good Manufacturing Practices Inspections; Clinical Trials, Pharmacovigilance, and Medicines Safety; Quality Management Systems; Information Management Systems and Policy, Legislation, and Regulatory Framework were established in 2018.

Hence, the 10 Members EWGs installed, recently at the 13th Steering Committee Meeting are Evaluation & Registration of Medical Products; Good Manufacturing Practices Inspections; Pharmacovigilance and Medicines Safety; Quality Management Systems; Information Management Systems; Policy, Legislation, and Regulations; Clinical Trials; Biological and Blood Products and Medical Devices.

The WAHO is the regional agency charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the health of the people in the sub-region through the initiation and harmonization of the policies of the Member States, pooling of resources, and cooperation with one another and with others r collective and strategic combat against the health problems of the sub-region.

While LMHRA is the statutory arm of the Government of Liberia with the responsibility to ensure that all medicines and health products circulating the borders of Liberia are safe and efficacious. The LMHRA was established based on provisions of the National Drug Policy for establishing a Medicines Regulatory Authority to enact and update medicines regulations to regulate the Pharmaceutical Sector and establishing a national quality control laboratory under the Authority.

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