03 February 2023
The First Expert Group Meeting to develop a Reference Manual on Legislation on Substandard and Falsified Medicines and Health Products was held in the Seychelles on 30 January to 3 February 2023.
In her opening remarks, the Guest of Honour, Mrs. Peggy Vidot, Minister of Health extended a warm welcome to all the experts and thanked MEDISAFE project for choosing Seychelles as the venue for this Expert Group Meeting to develop the Reference Manual on legislation on Sub-standard and Falsified Medicines and Health Products. “I am pleased that Seychelles is one of the partner countries in the MEDISAFE initiative and I note that we are participating actively” she noted.
Mrs. Peggy Vidot stressed on the importance to unite efforts to strengthen our national and regional capacities, both in the health regulatory area and the criminal justice area. “I applaud the efforts and plans of the MEDISAFE Project in the fight against the production, traffic and use of Substandard and Falsified Medicines and Health Products and to address the challenges of Organized Crime. It is clear that countries need a robust legal framework to meet these multiple challenges. I give my full support to the development of a Reference Manual on Legislation on Substandard and Falsified Medicines and Health Products, which will serve not only our 11 countries that are partners in MEDISAFE, but also the wider African Union.”, she further said.
The Minister also thanked the European Union and Expertise France for the support to this initiative, and acknowledged the wider collaboration within the African Union and the United Nations and the role of the World Health Organization as a steadfast partner.
The opening was attended by the WHO Representative in Seychelles, Dr. Rex Mpasange and by the Public Health Commissioner and the CEO of Health Care Agency. MEDISAFE 12 National Legal experts were supported by 2 WHO experts from Geneva and Brazzaville, a UNODC expert from Vienna, a legal officer from the African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa Development (AUDA-NEPAD) and a representative of the East African Community.
After 5 days of intense and fruitful deliberations, the draft Reference Manual was prepared and approved by consensus by the experts. This draft will be further developed by the International Legal Expert and will serve as the framework for the final preparation and validation of the Reference Manual during the Second Expert Group Meeting to be held in Mombasa, Kenya, in May 2023.
The opening ceremony received extensive media coverage.