As a part of the ongoing debate at the WHO on the Member State mechanism on substandard and falsified medical products, a statement has been jointly released by the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF), the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO), and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) to comment WHO’s Director General report on the tenth and eleventh meetings of the Mechanism.

The new draft list of prioritised activities for the period 2022–2023 detailed in the WHO’s document focuses, among others, on the need to strengthen the capacity of national/regional regulatory authorities for handling issues related to substandard and falsified medical products, at the prevention and detection as well as at the response level.

According to IPSF, IAPO and IFPMA, this may offer “an unprecedented opportunity” to the African Medicines Agency (AMA). The recently created regulatory agency faces the challenge to build a strong, unified, and coordinated regulatory system for the African continent, a tool that would greatly contribute to combating falsified and substandard medicinal products by means of enhanced market surveillance, centralised information collection, and sharing of data between countries. The WHO estimates that 42% of all fake medicines reported to the WHO from 2013 to 2017 came from Africa.