Mutual of Pretoria

  • by: |
  • 08/14/2013

South Africa seeking mutual recognition with FDA and EMA.

Maybe a better first step is to establish a reference basket of maybe five to six countries. A good model is Singapore. Everyone’s favorite city-state reviews six countries—USA, Canada, Australia, NZ, Japan, Switzerland and the EMA.  If any two of the five have approved, then approval is basically a formality.

Singapore doesn’t have mutual recognition with either the FDA or the EMA, but they unilaterally recognize the benefits of referencing to the “big regulatory dogs”, but did not demand that the FDA reference to their tiny agency.

 New medicine control body a step closer
Tamar Kahn: Business Day

THE establishment of a new regulatory body for medicines is a step closer, after the Cabinet said yesterday that it had referred enabling legislation containing the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill to Parliament.

The bill will replace the Medicines Control Council (MCC) with the South African Health Products Regulatory Agency (Sahpra), an entity with much wider scope.

The Cabinet said the bill sought to establish a strong, efficient and effective medicine regulatory authority. The Department of Health envisages Sahpra as being the solution to the extensive delays besetting the MCC, which takes much longer compared with US or European regulators to approve new medicines and clinical trials.

It is also expected to bring scrutiny to bear on aspects of the market that have largely gone unregulated, such as medical devices and complementary medicines. The new regulatory agency will also be responsible for foodstuffs, cosmetics, disinfectants and diagnostics.

To the frustration of researchers and the pharmaceutical industry, Sahpra has been stuck in the works for years. In 2008, Parliament passed amendments to the Medicines and Related Substances Act, which were not implemented. The bill was subsequently redrafted and published for comment in March. Since then it has taken more than a year to refine the bill and get it through the Cabinet.

Department of Health director-general Precious Matsoso said in June that one of the key changes made to the draft legislation was the inclusion of provisions for Sahpra to be a public entity with an independent board chaired by a CEO. It would also have a stronger governance structure than the previous draft, which had a CEO appointed by the Health Minister and gave final authority for the approval of new products to the Minister. The draft bill also included measures to shorten the registration time for medicines and medical devices by allowing mutual recognition agreements between Sahpra and other regulatory authorities such as the US Food and Drug Administration.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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