Africa Proposes Joint Coronavirus Clinical Trial Reviews
IP Relaxations Also Urged By UN Body
After a slow start, the coronavirus is now taking hold in Africa, with almost all of the continent's 54 countries reporting cases of infection. Actions being taken to tackle the disease include cooperation on speeding up the approval of coronavirus clinical trials, while a report from the UN says coordinated efforts on the distribution of medical supplies are needed.
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COVID-19 has highlighted the need for greater harmonization of medicines regulation to tackle health issues and emergencies more effectively in Africa. With that in mind, countries are being encouraged to speed up their ratification of a treaty setting up a new pan-African body tasked with coordinating national regulatory efforts, improving access to quality medicines and supporting the local pharmaceutical industry.
A new agreement between the WHO and the African Union is expected to strengthen efforts to create the new African Medicines Agency, following the endorsement of the AMA treaty earlier this year.
The UK government says it is on track to vaccinate the 15 million most vulnerable people by mid-February, and that a “major study” is under way to assess the potential impact of the new UK variant on vaccine efficacy.