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Invest In Clinical Trials For Drugs Now!

By Times Reporter - newtimesonline.com
Invest In Clinical Trials For Drugs Now!
MAR 16, 2009 SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT

Governments in Africa allocate a large portion of their annual budgets every year to address the health needs of their people.

This is to ensure that the people stay healthy, but try as the governments did, diseases still continue to be the major challenge that African countries continue to grapple with.

Several efforts including research and discovery of medicines to cure and prevent such diseases continue to be undertaken by various governments, institutions and individuals over the years.

It against this background that, Times learnt with much curiosity that clinical trials on the efficacy and safety of drugs discovered in Africa are often carried outside the continent's setting before such drugs are introduced.

In a report elsewhere in this issue, Dr Osman Sanko, the Executive Director of International Network of Demography and Evaluation of Population and their Health (INDEPTH), is reported as saying that, the impact of the clinical trial outside the continent often created a vacuum in the drug development process on the continent.

We on the Times could not agree more with Dr Sanko, for, we believe that, Africa is capable of conducting research, and to discover efficacious drugs to cure our diseases.

We recalled that the Mampong Research Centre has for several years been involved in the discovery of drugs to cure some diseases especially malaria at the time drugs such as chloroquine and Fansider continue to become resistance to the disease.

The centre developed a drug from a local herb called "Nibima" which was hailed across the world and used extensively for the cure of malaria.

We again recalled that the Former Minister of Health, Major Courage Quashigah campaign effective for its use.

We believe that with enough investment in equipment and provision of adequate resources, African countries could conduct their own clinical trials on the efficacy and safety of drugs for use by our people.

The availability of equipment and resources would also enable us to challenge the diagnostic and therapeutic methods through research to provide for the health needs of the people.

We say that this is the time for African countries to invest in the cliniclal trials of drugs locally to save the continent of millions of dollars that are used to conduct such trials outside the continent.

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