Kwesiga, Victoria; Ekeocha, Z; Byrn, S; and Clase, K, "Compliance to GMP guidelines for Herbal Manufacturers in East Africa: A Position Paper" (2021). BIRS Africa Technical Report Papers. Paper 7.
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With the global increase in the use of traditional and complementary remedies for the prevention and treatment of illness, the quality and safety of these medicines have become a significant concern for all regulatory authorities. Herbal medicines are the most commonly used form of traditional and complementary medicines in the world and the efficacy and safety of herbal medicines, like conventional medicines, largely depends on their quality from planting to harvesting, preprocessing and final processing. Due to the inherent complexity of herbal medicines, often containing an array of active compounds, the primary processing of herbal medicines has a direct influence on their quality. Quality concerns are the reason why the medicines regulatory agencies insist that manufacturers of medicines strictly follow Good Manufacturing Practices since it is an essential tool to prevent instances of contamination, mix-ups, deviations, failures and errors. However, a strict application of GMP requirements is expensive and would drive the prices of the manufactured products up. As a result, a maturity level grading of facilities is proposed as a way of justifying the costs incurred for manufacturers desiring to reach a broader market and investing in continuous improvement. 36 Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) inspection reports of local herbal manufacturers conducted by National Drug Authority were analyzed to establish the type and extent of deficiencies to GMP requirements for local herbal manufacturers in Uganda. The different GMP chapters and related sub-parameters constituted the variables used for the analysis of conformity to requirements. The primary outcome variable was the conclusion regarding compliance or noncompliance of the inspected local herbal manufacturing facility. GMP parameters that were frequently defaulted by local herbal manufacturers and the corresponding frequencies were identified. The Pearson Chi-square test was applied independently on each category to find the association that existed between conformity and the questions in each category. Only 22% (8) of the 30 inspected facilities were found to comply with GMP requirements, as per National Drug Authority (NDA) guidelines; while the majority of the facilities, 28 (78%), were found not to comply. Of the facilities inspected, 25 were undergoing GMP inspection for the first time. A total of 1,236 deficiency observations were made in the 36 inspection reports reviewed for the study. The mean for all deficiencies was 34.3, and the standard deviation was 15.829. 91.5% of the facilities did not have mechanisms for a record of market complaints; 80.9% did not meet documentation requirements; 78.9% did not have quality control measures in place, and 65.7% did not meet stores requirements. By encouraging a culture of self/voluntary improvement through the introduction of listing of manufacturers based on a maturity level grading, the National Drug Authority will improve the Herbal Medicines sector as per the mandate of improving the herbal medicine industry. Also, increased sensitization of all relevant stakeholders regarding the requirements for GMP should be intensified.