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African veterinary officers have agreed that a regional approach is essential in fighting organised fraud and tackling the alarming level of adulterated veterinary medicines being marketed in the continent. This could, in particular, help to reduce the high costs involved in delivering marketing authorisations and testing samples. A pilot approach already adopted in West Africa was considered an ideal model for other regions to draw on.

The regional approach received almost unanimous support from delegates at the OIE’s conference on veterinary medical products, held in Dakar, Senegal in March 2008, and sponsored by GALVmed. Over 160 participants from more than 50 countries attended the meeting, including chief veterinary officers, national veterinary medicine control bodies, manufacturers, donors and regional organisations.

Other agreed priorities included tightening up quality control through the harmonisation of national legislation under the auspices of regional organisations and the strengthening of controls by the national veterinary services in all African countries.