- The African Regulatory Network (ARN) is calling for technology transfer as a way to increase access to medicines in Africa, while also providing an important point-of-entry for pharma companies, in-Pharmatechnologist reports.
- The 4th ARN conference will be held in Senegal next week, and will bring together pharma and regulatory representatives.
- A major challenge that will be addressed at the conference is the hesitance of large pharma companies to invest in Africa because of concerns about lack of IP protection and political instability.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has created the framework for an initiative which promotes technology transfer and on-site manufacturing of medicines and other healthcare products in developing countries. This initiative, the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property, is designed to identify best practices in a given context, while also supporting investment in the local pharmaceutical industry.
Advocates are calling for increased tech transfer as a way to advance this goal. One company, which has successfully engaged in tech transfer in Africa is Eli Lilly, which transferred technology for two tuberculosis drugs to manufacturers in South Africa during the late 1990's and early 2000's, with the goal of addressing the scourge of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Their efforts were deemed effective, but unfortunately, there are very few pharma companies investing directly in Africa.