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Public urged to discuss Medicine Control Amendments Bill

by Gabi Khumalo
on 05 Jun 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The Department of Health has encouraged consumers and related groups to participate in the consultation process on Medicine Control Amendments bill.

Director General in the Department of Health, Thami Mseleku said: "We cannot limit this debate only to those with economic interest in it but have to ensure that the interest of patients and the public in general is represented too."

The objective of the Bill is to create a framework that enables health care providers to negotiate collectively and bargain individually on prices and ensure transparency and fairness in the determination of prices.

The Bill provides for the establishment of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority and provides a legal framework for the certification and registration of products such as medicines, medical devices and certain cosmetics.

Mr Mseleku said the amendment would ensure that the functions, which are currently performed by the Medicine Control Council (MCC), are conducted effectively and efficiently.

The new Authority will function as an agency with a Chief Executive Officer that is accountable to the minister, Mr Mseleku said.

He added that the agency will retain it revenue and recruit and retain the critical human resource capacity needed for it to fulfil its functions.

A panel of external experts will only be called upon where there is a need for such opinion or advice.

He said the Bill broadens the mandate of the new authority to cover approval of
complementary and African traditional medicines, medical devices and cosmetics or food products with medical claims.

"This piece of legislation will be supported by regulations specifying timescales within which health products should be certified and registered and application for clinical trials approved," said Mr Mseleku. - BuaNews

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