The People’s Movement for the Rights of Patients has today said the organisation is greatly concerned to learn from media reports that the Chairman and CEO of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) have been requested to resign.
“Our attempts to contact the Health secretary to clarify the reason for this sudden move was futile and we have yes to receive any update. When contacted the Director General of Health Services (DGHS), who is an ex-officio of the NMRA council, too was unaware of this development as he had been away and only returned on 1st February morning from abroad.” the People’s Movement for the Rights of Patients (PMRP) said in a statement.
The PMRP said; “The council of NMRA is an independent body comprising of professionals and there should be no political interference into their operation. It is clear that politicians act on reports provided by ministry officials, individuals and the industry with vested interest that have always been sabotaging the National Medicines Drug Policy from its inception.
“As it is only few months since the authority was established, it is only fair that the council be given adequate time to clear the accumulated backlog from the previous administration. If there were shortcoming in the working of the authority an explanation could have been called for rather than taking hasty decisions like this detrimental to the patients.
“We, the civil society, feel the present Chairman and CEO are possibly the best suited professionals, who as far as we know are incorruptible to serve in this role in current circumstances.
“If, as the media reports new appointments have already been made, this is in contravention of the guidelines laid down in the National Medicines Regulatory Authority, Act 5 of 2015.
“Therefore, we strongly request the Minister of Health to reconsider this hasty decision in the interest of the patient community.”