Controversy Within The Government Over The National Agency For Pharmaceutical Products

August 11, 2020

The National Agency for Pharmaceutical Products sparked wide debate among the various actors in the field of health between those who support its status under the tutelage of the Ministry of Health, Population and Hospital Reform and those who support the idea of placing it under the tutelage of the Ministry of Pharmaceutical Industry that was created recently after the ministerial reshuffle after it was a ministry delegated to the Ministry of Health.

Each current proposes its justifications from a purely scientific point of view that will benefit the public health of the citizen and the prosperity of the country’s economy, rejecting the agency is the subject of a conflict between sectors or a conflict of interests between those with influence, after a long wait, expressing surprised of the conflict triggering at this particular time when the agency started its activity.

The Algerian National Syndicate of Private Pharmacists “SNAPO” wrote correspondence to the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, to keep the agency under the tutelage of the Ministry of Health given its many important tasks in maintaining health security, reviewing the course of many countries in this context, such as the United States of America and France, which are known for their strong industries in addition to the recommendations of the World Health Organization, the syndicate asked why Algeria deviated from these recommendations and failed to abide by the basic international rules in this field?

The correspondence that was addressed to the President Tebboune stated; “While our country and all the actors in the health sector have been waiting for decades for the actual inauguration of the agency and its commencement of work, here we are witnessing a very dangerous manoeuvre aiming to place the agency under the tutelage of the industry sector instead of the health sector. It is an attempt to pass with great power and fallacy against the authorities and public opinion, and this manoeuvre leads to several questions about the hidden and real goals and intentions that target this project?”

“The desired change will destructively shake the Algerian health system and paralyze health services in the public and private sectors, with direct repercussions on the population, as placing an agency with a health identity under the authority of an industrial sector will automatically lead to overlapping interests and abandoning health principles and priorities in favour of the interests of other parties”, the correspondence added.

The authors of the correspondence cited in this regard that the agency exercises the task of controlling and balancing the health and pharmacy sector in a broad sense, and therefore it should not be linked narrowly and exceptionally to a branch of the industrial sector represented in the pharmaceutical industry.

In addition to ensuring the operational and technical sovereignty of the agency and keeping it under the guardianship of the health sector to ensure its independence in the pharmaceutical sector and the influence of the pharmaceutical companies, but it can’t achieve independence and credibility of by embodying the separation between it and the institutions subject to its control and supervision.

The syndicate called on the president to respond and interact with their call that aimed at preserving the major foundations and stability of Algeria’s health system.

In turn, Abdelouahid Karrar, head of the National Union of Pharmacy Dealers, told Echrouk, that the union has not among its legal powers the role of commenting on issues related to the organization of the government and its institutions, but he believes in the necessity to avoid deviating the agency from the goal of having a strong and effective national insitution for pharmaceutical products that can support producers and effectively accompanying them and remedying the accumulated delay over the past two years in registering hundreds of products manufactured by our members that are imported in the meantime.

“Our union was among the first to call for the creation of the National Agency for Pharmaceutical Products, which was established under the 2008 law without starting work, which made the union continue to remind the importance of putting it into service. Since its inauguration in 2016, the union has continued to demand to make it functional and equip it with all human, material and financial capabilities, given the responsibilities and tasks that are assigned to it”.

“The federation believes that the government decided to highlight the importance it attaches to the development of the pharmaceutical industry by allocating a ministry to it to solve the obstacles that existed for several years that prevent our sector from demonstrating its full potential”.




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