Two years after the Treaty to establish an African Medicines Agency was agreed, over 40 leading organizations, including the Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF), and hundreds of thousands of patients, researchers and industry leaders are urging Heads of State and Government to ratify the Treaty as a matter of priority.
The unrelenting COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of regulatory harmonisation in the context of public health emergencies, and the urgent need for a competent continent-wide regulatory authority to approve and monitor vaccines, repurposed medicines, innovative medicines and health technologies, in a timely manner.
Although there has been political support, legal commitment from more countries remains to be secured for the continent-wide regulatory African Medicines Agency to finally become a reality. The Treaty has so far been signed by 19 countries, but only 8 out of the necessary 15 have ratified it. Further delays in the establishment of an African Medicines Agency (AMA) undermine the timely access to effective, quality therapies, and vaccines for all patients across Africa.
The agency would follow a similar mandate to other global medicines regulatory agencies, such as the European Medicines Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The AMA would provide an enabling environment for research and development, country participation in clinical research and other scientific development activities, as well as open more opportunities to boost local manufacturing capacities. Furthermore, the AMA would help effectively manage the prevalence of substandard and falsified medical products, currently inflicting severe pain and harm on patient’s lives, due to porous borders and ineffective regulatory control.
As TIF, we fully support and applaud the International Alliance of Patients΄ Organisations (IAPO)‘ call to Heads of State of the African Union to ratify the AMA Treaty, firmly believing that the latter will unquestionably strengthen our efforts for the safety of patients with thalassemia and sickle cell disease living on the African continent, and their access to quality, safe & effective medicines.
Read the Full IAPO Statement on the Ratification of the AMA HERE
 Full list of signatories as of 2 February: Algeria, Benin, Burkina-Faso, Chad, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Rwanda, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, DRC.
 Full list of countries who have ratified as of 2 February: Rwanda, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Seychelles, Guinea, Morocco, Namibia.