I take this great honor to welcome you to this ceremony for inauguration of the members of the 7th Authority. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the new members and those that have been reappointed to the Authority. I do not take this re-appointment for granted and I therefore give thanks to the Almighty God for this new assignment.
I thank the Hon. Minister of Health and her fellow Cabinet Ministers for entrusting us with this great task of overseeing and consolidating the functionality of the National Drug Authority (NDA). I and the Members of the 7th Authority shall always be indebted to you and the Ministry of Health. I would like to assure you, Hon. Minister that this team will not let you down, but will rather consolidate the achievements attained in the previous 6th Authority’s term of office as well as seek new solutions in medicines regulation, for the betterment of every Ugandan. The sky shall not be the limit!
I am grateful to the Secretary to the Authority and his team, for the period we worked together on the 6th Authority, I particularly wish to point out the good work that the NDA Secretariat has done and continues to do in promoting scrupulous practices in the pharmaceutical sector and protecting the population from illegal activities such as counterfeiting of medicines. The 7th Authority has come to provide you maximum support so that NDA delivers on its mandate of ensuring that only medicines that are safe, good quality, and efficacious are made available to the entire population in Uganda, both humans and animals.
Allow me Hon. Minister to highlight to you some of the achievements attained during the 6th Authority.
- Automation of the Business Processes: The Authority implemented the NDA Management Information System (NDAMIS) that has facilitated timely service delivery and enhanced organisational efficiency.
- Increased the laboratory capacity to test a range of medicines (human, veterinary, conventional and herbals), condoms, gloves, syringes, long lasting insecticide nets and surgical instruments.
- Construction of the state-of-art Quality Laboratory tower that shall enhance capability to carry out quality control tests on medicines, vaccines, medical devices, cosmetics, food and other chemicals when completed.
- Increase in the number of licensed drug outlets (pharmacies and drug shops) from 10,222 to 12,590.
- The enforcement operations conducted against illegal drug outlets. This led to medicines worth UShs. 1 billion being impounded, of which 716 cartons of assorted medicines were embossed “Government of Uganda Not for Sale”.
- Increased the number of local manufacturing facilities from 14 to 18 (12 human, 3 veterinary and 3 medical devices).
- Established a fully-fledged herbal unit to promote research and development of herbal medicines.
To gain the momentum needed to advance the goals of NDA and remain on the forefront of ensuring a Uganda with safe, effective and quality medicines and health care products, I and the Authority members pledge to deliver on the following during the 3 years of our tenure.
- Provide guidance to the Minister of Health on the implementation of the National Drug Policy.
- Lobby for the fast tracking and enactment of the National Food and Drug Authority Bill 2017 into Law in close collaboration with Ministry of Health and Parliament.
- Control the quality of drugs. In this regard, the Authority shall strengthen intelligence gathering and regulatory action against falsified/counterfeit medicines in the country.
- Control the importation, exportation and sale of pharmaceuticals. The Authority shall strengthen the capacity of NDA to detect and avert illegal importation of drugs.
- Strengthen regulation of veterinary medicines by improving stakeholder engagement through inter-ministerial dialogue.
- Promote and control local production of essential drugs.
- Secure land for construction of regional offices to provide conducive environment for testing of medicines, storage, stakeholders engagement and staff.
- Complete the construction, equipping and commissioning of the laboratory tower.
I look forward to working harmoniously and collectively with fellow Members of the Authority to consolidate the momentum needed to advance the goals of NDA. We shall remain on the forefront of ensuring a Uganda with safe, effective and quality medicines and health care products.
Safe Drugs Save Lives.
For God and my Country.