… Set for Malaria Vaccine Clinical Trial All Over Nigeria.
The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, dropped the hint weekend at the Pharmacovigilance Inspection interactive session with Pharma Stakeholders in Lagos, where she also disclosed the preparedness of the nation to begin Malaria Vaccine Clinical trial in its resolve to exterminate malaria scourge in Nigeria.
‘’The NAFDAC boss further explained that the pharmaceutical industry must put structures in place to ensure adequate monitoring of their products throughout the supply chain.
She, however, added that they must have strategies, goals, and clear objectives that will ensure the safe use of their products.
In a statement by the NAFDAC Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, on Sunday, Prof Adeyeye pointed out that the MAHs must as a matter of importance train and further engage all relevant stakeholders along their supply chain on the need for pharmacovigilance and use of relevant reporting platforms for reporting ADRs/AEFIs to the Agency. According to her, the sustained safety of medical products in Nigeria lies on a vast array of stakeholders and it has become imperative to continually improve on our pharmacovigilance processes for safety monitoring.
She also noted that the various public health programs involved in the importation of medical products for use in their respective programmes are regarded as marketing authorization holders for their products and she, therefore, encouraged them to establish and identify key personnel that will coordinate the activities of pharmacovigilance within their programmes.
She however noted that the six pharmacovigilance centers established across the six geopolitical zones of the country will be strengthened further to serve as convergence centers from the States to the Centre: but most importantly from the communities to the States to the Centers. She said those centers that have been approved should also be involved, as she vowed to take charge of strengthening them personally.
She explained that community pharmacists are strategic in this call because they reach the populace more than any other sector with impressive records. She noted that since community pharmacists are also involved with immunization delivery services, it has become imperative that their pharmacovigilance system should be inspected to ensure compliance with PV regulations and guidelines.
Going down memory lane, Prof. Adeyeye said NAFDAC since its inception had engaged in some level of activities towards ensuring the safe use of medical products in-country. She stated that in recent times, pharmacovigilance has been brought to the fore with the COVID-19 pandemic and the key role that the African Union smart safety surveillance (AU 3S) played in assuring safety of products used in the pandemic within the member countries including Nigeria.
The AU-3S programme, led by African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), aims to create a sustainable continental safety monitoring system to improve the safety of priority medical products for patients across Africa. The AU3S coordinated surveillance system was piloted with the COVID-19 vaccines in the five member countries with the goal of future continent-wide safety surveillance of other medical products.
Prof Adeyeye further explained that the AU3S also provided platform for capacity building of our Staff on various aspects of Pharmacovigilance, noting that this greatly contributed towards NAFDAC’s attainment of Maturity Level 3 (ML3) under the WHO global benchmarking system. ‘’This means that we are now a stable, well-functioning and integrated regulatory system’’.
Having achieved this feat, she said the Agency is now poised to delve into aspects of pharmacovigilance inspection which before now we had not ventured into.
She opined that Pharmacovigilance Inspections of Marketing Authorization Holders (MAHs) is a key aspect of Pharmacovigilance which cannot be ignored by any regulatory authority that has intent on ensuring patient safety with use of medical products and attaining higher levels of maturity in its regulatory processes.
She added that this entails that all MAHs must have a well-established pharmacovigilance system in place and most importantly, vigilance activities are being carried out in accordance with national regulations and guidelines.
Prof Adeyeye recalled with pain the parlous state of Pharmacovigilance in NAFDAC when she got to the Agency in 2017 prompting her resolve to change the tide. She lamented that Pharmacovigilance did very badly when NAFDAC had its WHO Global Benchmarking first visit in 2019.
She said Prof Isa from the University of Benin who is the father of Pharmacovigilance in Africa felt extremely bad with the outcome of WHO audit that year. ‘I invited him to the audit from WHO and he was disappointed because he goes around the world guarding people about pharmacovigilance’.
‘’I knew that the situation was very bad. But you cannot change something that is very bad overnight. We also went to Morocco and saw the pharmacovigilance center. Our people are getting the short end of the stick because if the community pharmacist, the hospital pharmacist are not made aware of the importance of reporting, then our own population is getting the short end of the stick in the sense that whatever we are supposed to have gotten in terms of reporting we are not getting’’
She disclosed that following the dismal outcome of the WHO first Benchmarking visit she and Pharmacist Ali started talking with Gates Foundation, represented by Ms. RajLong at a conference in Abuja, stressing that she was the push to the improvement that had taken place.
According to Prof Adeyeye, the goal of AU3S is to have an African vigilance database that can interact, that can be shared with WHO vigibase, saying ‘’we started building the pillars around pharmacovigilance at that point’’.