21 August 2013
The Office of the Inspector General of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority. The memorandum will facilitate the exchange of information concerning fraud and abuse in grant programs managed by the Global Fund, focusing on theft, diversion, or counterfeiting of pharmaceutical commodities.
Under the memorandum, both parties will cooperate by exchanging intelligence which may aid in investigations of people or networks suspected of engaging in manufacturing, distributing, transporting, or selling spurious, falsely-labelled, falsified, counterfeit medicines. Both parties will regularly exchange information and consult with one another to find new areas of cooperation and other potential joint activities falling within their respective mandates.
"Spurious, falsely-labelled, falsified, counterfeit drugs are silent murderers," said Hiiti Sillo, Director General of the Tanzania FDA. "Porous borders, wide price gaps, weak prosecution, lack of harmonized best practices, and lack of human resources facilitate this murder."
This Memorandum is the ninth such agreement signed by the Inspector General since 2010. For the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), partnerships with regulatory bodies and law enforcement agents are a critical success factor in the fight against fraud and corruption on the ground. Other recent examples of memoranda include agreements with the Malawi Police Service, the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and The Counter Fraud and Whistleblowing Unit of the UK Department for International Development.
The mission of the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) is to protect and promote public health by ensuring quality, safety and effectiveness of food, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices. Its functions include Product Promotion Control, Laboratory Analysis for Quality, Safety and Effectiveness, Post Marketing Product Risk Analysis, Import and Export Control, and Premises Registration and Licensing.
"The MoU between the OIG and the TFDA represents the formal commencement of a long and fruitful relationship between the two bodies,” said Norbert Hauser, interim Inspector General. “It is also another example of the OIG’s commitment to engaging with key national law enforcement and drug regulatory authorities as part of the work of the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force (JIATF).".
The Office of the Inspector General was established by the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in July 2005. The Office of the Inspector General operates as an independent unit of the Global Fund, reporting directly to the Board through its Audit and Ethics Committee.
The mission of the Office of the Inspector General is to provide the Global Fund with independent and objective assurance over the design, quality and effectiveness of controls or processes to manage the key risks impacting the Global Fund's programs and operations.
Norbert Hauser, interim Inspector General for the Global Fund (left) with Mr Hiiti Sillo, Director General of the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority.