Top Level PTA Meeting in Nairobi. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 009 (1990)
(1990; 2 pages)


The Preferential Trade Area (PTA) held a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya from 27 to 29 October 1989 with the aim of improving drug availability. The PTA is a sub-regional economic cooperative that includes 20 African countries and encourages self-help and partnership among participating countries to promote economic self-reliance in the region. In his opening address, Kenyan Minister of Health Mwai Kibaki stated that pharmaceuticals “have to be made available at affordable prices for the population”. The following discussion, summarized in the ninth issue of the Essential Drugs Monitor, focused on five major areas: drug procurement, tariff and non-tariff barriers, donor agencies, quality and regulatory control, and production and technology transfer. Specific agenda items included harmonizing regulatory systems, fiscal reform, information exchange, and the bulk purchase of raw materials. Recommendations from the meetings include harmonizing and rationalizing tariffs and licensing procedures between member states, adopting national drug policies in member states, and coordinating the purchase of raw materials. These recommendations mirrored those produced at a summit for PTA health ministers held at the beginning of October. The World Health Organization was also asked to continue its technical support for the programme, especially in the areas of drug procurement, good manufacturing practices, and quality control. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013)

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