PMRA unveils new five-year strategic plan

PMRA has today launched its new five-year strategic plan at a colourful ceremony held at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health Dr. Matthews Ngwale presided over the launch which was also attended by USAID Health Office Deputy Director Dr. Haldon Njikho, WHO Rep Dr. Neema Kimambo and key players in the pharmaceutical sector, among others.

Chairperson of PMRA Board of Directors, Mrs Frider Chimimba described the development of the 2023/24-2027/28 blue print as a milestone towards enhancing service delivery.

Said Chimimba: “The Strategic Plan is part of the major strides the Authority is undertaking in its quest to further enhance the medicine regulatory system in the country. It comes at a time when PMRA has undergone functional review aimed at establishing new organizational structure in line with the PMRA Act, 2019 and formal WHO global benchmarking whose outputs include an institutional development plan (IDP) and a roadmap towards achieving WHO Maturity Levels II & III of a functioning national regulatory authority.”

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Promoting the Quality of Medicines Plus (PQM+) program supported the development of the SP.

PMRA employees urged to embrace professional integrity at workplace

Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority (PMRA) Director General, Mphatso Kawaye, has called on members of staff at the Authority to exemplify professional ethical behaviour and say not to corruption in discharging their duties.

Kawaye made the remarks Friday in Lilongwe when he presided over a half-day corruption awareness meeting for management and staff which was jointly facilitated by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and PMRA’s Institutional Integrity Committee (IIC).

“Our commitment is to be a corruption free zone and each member of staff has a role to play for us to achieve this status and maintain it,” he said.

The Director General further said, by establishing an institutional integrity committee the Authority had demonstrated commitment to the fight against corruption and urged members of staff to rally behind efforts of the IIC in leading the institution in the prevention of the vice.

He then pledged the PMRA Board of Directors’ and management’s support towards activities of the IIC which he said are for the good of the organisation and the country.

among other topics, participants were taken through an overview of the NACS II and mandate of IIC, overview of corruption, and workplace ethics.

PMRA established the IIC in January this year to spearhead the Authority’s efforts in the fight against corruption in line with the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACs II), a government policy document in the fight against corruption.

The corruption awareness meeting was part of a series of activities which the IIC is geared to implement in the 2023/24 calendar year.

PMRA, MACRA court dealers of traditional medicines, broadcasters on TCM adverts

The Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority (PMRA) and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) have jointly held orientation meetings with dealers of traditional and complementary medicines (TCM) and broadcasters in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu on advertisement and promotion of traditional medicines.

The two organisations were in Blantyre on Tuesday, Lilongwe on Thursday and Mzuzu on Friday to orient the TCM dealers and owners of broadcasting media houses on the regulation of advertisement and promotion of traditional medicines as provided for in the PMRA Act, 2019.

Section 68 (2) of the PMRA Act states that advertisement of any medicine or allied substance shall require prior screening and approval by the Authority.

Speaking when he presided over the orientation meeting in Blantyre, Allied Substances Sub-Committee Chairperson Bright Lipenga said regulation of the TCM products advertisements was aimed at ensuring that only true information is being disseminated to the public and that the public makes informed decisions based on this true information.

Said Lipenga: “Production of traditional and complementary medicines at industrial scale has resulted in the need for advertisement and promotion of the same.

“Considering that these advertisements are for specialised products and main target are vulnerable people, some of them who are in a desperate need to be helped, there is a need to regulate information being disseminated to the public.”

On his part, MACRA’s Deputy Director of Broadcasting, Kelton Masangano echoed Lipenga’s sentiments saying the Communications Act, 2016 also empowers MACRA to regulate broadcast media content including advertisements hence his organisation’s decision to work with PMRA on the enforcement of regulation of TCM products advertisements.

PMRA and MACRA in November last year signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on collaboration on advertisement and promotion of traditional medicines with the overall objective to jointly oversee operationalisation of the requirement of the PMRA Act to have all advertisements traditional medicines vetted before they are broadcast.

PMRA aware of concerns by medicine store operators

The Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority (PMRA) says it is aware of the concerns being raised by some medicine store owners and operators under the banner, Medicine Store Owners in Malawi.

A statement by the Authority released on Thursday says while the regulator acknowledges that the issues being raised by the medicine stores are pertinent, the same cannot be discussed now as they are before the court.

Reads the statement in part: “The Authority acknowledges that the issues being raised by the medicine store owners and operators are very pertinent. However, stakeholders and the public may wish to know that the issues in question are also before the Lilongwe High Court. Both PMRA and the medicine store operators are waiting for the court’s guidance on the same.”

The statement further said other related issues which also affect operations of medicine stores in the country are being addressed through new Regulations of the PMRA Act, 2019, which Ministry of Health is currently formulating as part of on-going efforts of improving the country’s pharmaceutical industry.