"Indonesia is not only an important player, but also a leader in the pharmaceutical sector among the OIC countries," Director General of Multilateral Cooperation at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Febrian Alphyanto Ruddyard, said at First Meeting of Heads of National Medicines Regulatory Authorities (NMRAs) ) of the OIC Cooperation Member States held here Wednesday.
With all its potential, Indonesia excels in the pharmaceutical sector among the OIC countries and has been appointed as a pilot by the Muslim countries, he said.
The NMRAs meeting on November 21-22, 2018 is an opportunity for Indonesia to demonstrate its leadership while at the same time promoting equal distribution of pharmaceutical capacity among the member countries.
According to Febrian, in 2017 the OIC appointed Indonesia as the center of excellence for the drug regulatory because the country has a high capacity compared to other OIC countries. In addition to positive growth in the drug industry, the pharmaceutical supervision mechanisms in Indonesia are also going well.
Indonesia`s excellence is the nation`s capital in leading as well as providing benefits to OIC members, especially the developing countries, Febrian said.
He noted that the vaccine market in OIC member countries is very big. The total population of the OIC is 1.8 billion people. In fact, half the population, at least 900 million, is a group that needs vaccines and other pharmaceutical products.
Febrian asserted that drugs and vaccines issue is not always a matter of markets and profits. Indonesia has a mission to help the OIC countries in increasing capacity in producing medicines and vaccines, both in the forms of industrial development and supervision of their products.
The pharmaceuticals and vaccines are strongly related to public health. "Cooperation in the medicine sector is very down to earth. Health is a matter of the world which is mentioned in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is the third goal. Of course, there is no conflict in healthy communities," he said.
Indonesia is currently a member of The Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PICs) along with 49 other countries. Within the organization, there are only four OIC member countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey and Iran.
One of the topics at the NMRAs first meeting is equalizing the capacity of each country in producing drugs and vaccines. In addition, the participants also discussed drugs and vaccines issues, including regulatory status in the OIC member countries, the role of regulatory authorities in ensuring drug quality, harmonization of drug standards among the countries, and efforts to make OIC member countries independent in medicine production.
The meeting also discusses the production of halal drugs and vaccines, as well as the control of fake drugs in the OIC member countries.
Reporting by Anom Prihantoro
Editing by Libertina, Eliswan