Strengthening regulatory system and structure for Medicines and Food Products in Afghanistan: The way forward

  • Graham Dukes
  • Luther Gwaza
  • David Lee
  • Mark Morris
  • Sandra Smulko
  • Sum Wong

The MoPH established the National Medicines and Food Board (NMFB) in 2009, as a multidisciplinary body to oversee and catalyze regulatory activities in medicines and food products. The NMFB itself would not have a direct regulatory function; but expected to provide guidance on the technical aspects of regulating medicines and processed food products; however, due to the lack of access to technical expertise and poor coordination among relevant departments, the board has been unable to fulfill its expected role. In the same year, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) of Afghanistan requested that the Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) Program explore options for establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework for food products and medicines in Afghanistan. Responding to the request of MoPH, an initial assessment was conducted in March 2010 to understand the regulatory system and structure for medicines and food products in Afghanistan. Subsequent to the assessment, 3 options were identified and proposed to NMFB and MoPH for consideration in establishing a regulatory framework for the country. The NMFB Task Force was established in January 2011 with the mandate to review the three proposed options that were discussed in the assessment report on establishing a Food and Drugs Authority.