Evaluation of the Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Regulatory Review Process: Challenges and Opportunities
Darko, Delese Mimi
Asamoah-Okyere, Kwame Dei
Purpose: This study aimed to assess the current regulatory review process of the food and drugs authority (FDA) Ghana by identifying key milestones, target timelines, good review practices and quality decision-making practices and evaluating the overall regulatory performance from 2019 to 2021, as well as the challenges and opportunities for improvement. Methods: The FDA Ghana representatives completed the optimising efficiencies in regulatory agencies (OpERA) questionnaire, including data identifying the milestones and overall approval times for all products registered by the FDA Ghana from 2019 to 2021. Results: Of the new active substances approved from 2019 to 2021, 91% were biologicals processed by full or abridged reviews pathways. Timelines for these reviews were within authority targets but were longer compared with generics. Of generics approved from 2019 to 2021, 97% were pharmaceuticals processed by the full review pathway, with timelines within authority targets and shorter compared with new active substances. Regardless of the review model used, approval times for new active substances increased from 84 to 355 calendar days 2019–2021 due to the impact of the pandemic. Guidelines, standard operating procedures and review templates were in place and the majority of indicators for good review practices were implemented. Several quality decision-making practices were implemented, although currently there is not a systematic structured approach. Conclusion: The FDA Ghana monitors regulatory performance and currently meets its target timelines. To achieve World Health Organization Maturity Level 4 status, an electronic tracking system, benefit-risk assessment framework and template and the publication of assessment reports are recommended.