In the draft resolution, participating members said to address the many challenges, it is crucial for the states to collectively or individually regulate production and importation of medical product that comes in members’ states.
It also highlights promotion and cooperation between the importing and the exporting countries of medical product and to develop a transparent chin of control from production to distribution of medicines.
During the adoption, some members argued that the major cause of expired medicine importation is the weak legal framework intensified by lack of political will and non-enforcement and implementation of opposing penalties arising from criminal convictions while others said it was due to the entanglement of revenue generation concerns which, according to them, sometimes undermine the regulatory role of the tax department, which aimed is to ensure that counterfeit and expired product do not pass the borders.
Based upon these arguments, the committee recommended that a large scale investigation be launched into trafficking; and a campaign be sponsored against counterfeit medicines or expired drugs in ECOWAS states.
“The ECOWAS Parliament and the National Parliament is a powerful means of information and sensitizing the people of the community and as such let all necessary and possible measures be taken to combat this trafficking” a member said.
They used the occasion to call on the national parliament of ECOWAS member’s states to support the initiative and work towards the achievement of its objectives and to establish community legislation on the fight against counterfeit and expired medicines.
It was also agreed upon that the speaker be directed to forward the draft resolution to the president of the ECOWAS commission for onward transmission to the chair of the ECOWAS authority of heads of state and government.
The meeting which started on April 10 and ended on April 14 was aimed at ensuring the effective existence of an ECOWAS policy on the fight against counterfeit medicines and to also ensure its implementation in the region in order to coordinate the parliament’s WHO’s efforts to fight together.