Collaborative Efforts Between Rwanda FDA and Patient Associations to Strengthen Pharmacovigilance Practices

To enhance pharmacovigilance practices and ensure the safety and quality of pharmaceutical products, the Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority (Rwanda FDA) convened a meeting with representatives from various patient associations. Held on January 29th, 2024, at the Rwanda FDA Head Office, the meeting aimed to foster collaboration and dialogue between the regulatory authority and patient associations on pharmacovigilance practices.

Pharmacovigilance is critical in ensuring the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products in Rwanda’s healthcare system. Recognizing the importance of engaging patient associations in this endeavor, Rwanda FDA organized a meeting to facilitate collaboration and exchange of insights on pharmacovigilance practices.

The primary objective of the meeting was to increase consumer engagement in pharmacovigilance activities through the established pharmacovigilance system by Rwanda FDA. By strengthening collaboration with patient associations, the Rwanda FDA seeks to enhance the reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADR) and adverse events, ultimately contributing to improved patient safety.

Representatives from patient associations, including Stroke Action Rwanda, Breast Cancer Association, Rwanda Diabetes Association, Reseau Rwandais des Personnes Vivant Avec le VIH/SIDA, and Rwanda Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Alliance, actively participated in discussions and provided valuable insights.

Key discussions centered on strategies to strengthen the pharmacovigilance system in Rwanda, increase awareness of pharmacovigilance programs among patients, and encourage reporting of adverse events.

‘’As patient advocates, we are committed to working closely with the Rwanda FDA to ensure the safety and quality of pharmaceutical products for our communities.’’ Said Ms. Kibugu De Cuir CARORLYIN Philipa, CEO of Breast Cancer Initiative East Africa.

‘’We believe that educating patients about pharmacovigilance is crucial in empowering them to report any adverse reactions they experience.’’ RemarkedbyMr. Alphonse Mbarushimana, Executive Director of Rwanda Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Alliance.

In addition to highlighting challenges and proposing solutions, the patient association representatives expressed their commitment to collaborating closely with the Rwanda FDA to ensure the quality and safety of pharmaceutical products.

The collaborative efforts between Rwanda FDA and patient associations signify a significant step towards enhancing pharmacovigilance practices in Rwanda. By actively involving patient associations, the Rwanda FDA aims to empower patients to play a more active role in safeguarding their health and promoting medication safety.

The meeting received positive feedback from all participants, underscoring the significance of collaboration between regulatory authority and patient associations in promoting pharmacovigilance and safeguarding public health.

Rwanda FDA remains dedicated to fostering continued collaboration with patient associations and other stakeholders to enhance pharmacovigilance practices and ensure the safety of pharmaceutical products for all Rwandan citizens.

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