Objectives of the Lomé Initiative
- Introduce legislation to criminalise the traffic in substandard and falsified medicines and impose tough criminal penalties.
- Sign and ratify relevant international agreements, including the Medicrime Convention and the Palermo Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime.
- Establish inter-agency mechanisms at national level to ensure vigorous enforcement of the new legislation and improve cooperation among states.
- On 18 January 2020, the governments of Congo, Ghana, Niger, Uganda, Senegal and Togo signed a political declaration committing them to take action on falsified and substandard medicines, marking the launch of the Lomé Initiative.
- The States mandated the Foundation to support the Lomé Initiative and its follow-up.
- Undertake an audit of existing legislation to identify gaps and make recommendations on new/additional legislation rather than impose them.
- Not duplicate but support existing relevant international agreements and the ratification of the African Medicines Agency.
- Encourage other African states to join this initiative.
- Implement activities through a framework agreement among the various participating states and the recommendations from an ongoing legislative audit.
- Reduce poor-quality medicine as a first phase of a long-term commitment, which builds upon a historic commitment since the 2017 Oyo Declaration, the 2018 London Symposium and a preparatory meeting in Marrakesh in 2019.
- Launch a youth consultation in Africa in 2021 which will be both an awareness campaign on issues related to medicines, and a call to action to find solutions against the market of falsified and substandard medicines. The consultation will be followed by a forum to showcase and reward the most promising projects.
- In 2022, the Brazzaville Foundation will continue to support the Lomé Initiative countries in a coordinated 2022-2024 programme that includes the development and implementation of national plans to fight falsified and substandard medicines. These plans require the establishment of inter-ministerial mechanisms, the creation of regulatory and supervisory processes, the design of national production units, and the evaluation of the success of the programme in order to readjust the strategy according to national specificities and feedback.
- The national plans will be structured around three complementary areas of action: public health, security and the rule of law.
- The partners for the development and implementation of the national plans are public and private decision-makers representing a wide variety of professions and functions in the pharmaceutical supply chain: security forces and customs, professional orders in the health and legal professions, representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, managers of hospitals, health centres and pharmacies.
- Priority targets are women who are both buyers and sellers of falsified medicines and young people who have the capacity to change purchasing behaviour.
A high-level round table on falsified and substandard pharmaceuticals
As a contribution to the 74th World Health Assembly on 25 May 2021, the Brazzaville Foundation organised a high-level online roundtable. The high-level speakers forwarded to the President of the World Health Assembly and the Director General of the WHO a report on the progress and recommendations in the fight against falsified and substandard medicines.