Job Opening

Posting Title: RITD-RINS- Pharmaceutical Policy Consultant
Department/Office: Economic Commission for Africa
Duty Station: ADDIS ABABA
Posting Period: 16 June 2021 - 24 June 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-Economic Commission for Africa-157241-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Result of Service

• Successful and impactful policy advocacy for the tracking Sub-Standard and Falsified Medicines and Counterfeit Medical Products and Commodities and promotion of quality control best practices in selected countries and at the continental level.
• Successful facilitation of policy dialogues that will lead to the effective implementation of the regulatory, quality and safety data base towards the achievement of the Initiative’s objectives.

Work Location

Addis Ababa

Expected duration

This consultancy will be for a period of 6 (six) months upon signature of contract.

Duties and Responsibilities

III. Organizational Settings and reporting:

Under the direct supervision of the Directors of Regional Integration and Trade (RITD) and Gender, Poverty & Social Policy Division (GPSPD), the consultant will have the responsibility to undertake the following:

I. Background

The advent of the African Continental Free Area (AfCFTA), its coming into force effectively on 30 May 2019 and entering into an operational phase on 7 July 2019, at an African Union (AU) summit in Niger marks momentous milestone for economic integration of Africa. The AfCFTA brings onboard a market of 1.3 Billion people, a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $3.4 trillion, across 55 member states of the AU. The AfCFTA-anchored African single market changes the economics on the ground and makes the case for significant investment in manufacturing across the continent in particular the health sector as an input to inclusive and sustainable development, promotion of value addition and income generation, job creation to cater for the youth bulge, technological and knowledge spill overs.

The Agreement which began trading on the 01 January 2021 provides an appropriate sectoral approach to advocate for healthcare and wellness sectors, and more specifically the pharmaceutical sector. The healthcare and wellness sector, which is projected to be worth $259 billion by 2030 is said to have a potential to create 16 million jobs is ready market to operationalize the AfCFTA. If we single out the pharmaceuticals sub-sector alone, the industry is one of the world’s fastest growing. In the past ten years, the market has exploded to US$ 21 Billion and is estimated to be US$60 Billion by the end of 2020 and still growing.

In its role as the only UN agency mandated to operate at the regional and sub regional levels to harness resources and bring them to bear on Africa's priorities, and in line with its mission to deliver ideas and actions for an empowered and transformed Africa; informed by the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063; the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) leveraging on its three core functions, namely, its convening function, its function as a think tank and its operational function to convene the relevant partners, provides platform, networks and analysis to leverage opportunities of the AfCFTA in the pharmaceutical sector across the continent.
ECA, across its various efforts in the last year to advance the SDGs and Agenda 2063, has been involved in identifying key leadership commitments, interests and the economic justification for such an engagement.

Indeed, in 2018, ECA commissioned a report titled “Review of Policies and Strategies for the Pharmaceutical Production Sector in Africa: Policy coherence, best practices and future prospective”. The policy recommendations emanating from report informed the 2019 Africa Business Forum which was convened on the margins of African Union Summit on 12 February 2019. The Forum’s objective was to facilitate and consolidate a regional partnership between private and public sector for the purposes of advancing health outcomes and shape health markets in Africa to spur improved health and wellbeing of its people and economy. In tandem, ECA also developed its inaugural Healthcare and Economic Growth in Africa in 2019 which was launched at the 2019 Business Forum along the ABCHealth-whose purpose is to harness and mobilize private sector investments and champions through a coordinated platform to advance health outcomes and shape health markets across Africa.

Responding to committed African leaders’ requests, the ECA is moving forward with its role on operationalization of ideas to actions by facilitating a AfCFTA anchored- Pharmaceutical Project which takes on a three strand approach: facilitation and advocacy of local production of maternal and child care drugs and products; pooled procurement of same in small Islands States and countries that include -Seychelles, Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, Djibouti, Eritrea, Rwanda and IGAD anchored by Kenya and Ethiopia; and ensuring harmonized regulatory and quality standards of medicines and products with the support of the AUC’s Agencies.

It is well known that African has high disease burden coupled by high population growth that will continue to demand pharmaceutical drugs and products. Yet, Africa manufactures less than 2 per cent of the medicines it consumes while it imports over 97 per cent of its needs from outside the continent at an annual cost of $14.5 billion. Worse still, several African countries import sub-standard or poor-quality medicines and some of the smaller Africa economies pay premium prices to source their pharmaceuticals owing to their weakened bargaining position with large, well-resourced and dominant international pharmaceutical companies. It is estimated that the annual earnings from substandard and/or counterfeit drugs were over US$30 billion, according to the 2017 World Health Organization, Report of fake drugs trade. Counterfeit and substandard drugs are a public health risk contributing significantly to morbidity and mortality. The tragedy of it all is that most of these diseases are treatable and most related deaths could be prevented with timely access to appropriate and affordable and quality medicines and so are people living with long life diseases, they can lead productive lives.

Africa’s pharmaceutical industry exhibits several market distortions (such as undersupply of quality medication, overpricing and dominant behaviors on behalf of some producers) which affect the adequate supply of medicines and pharmaceutical products in Africa. The economic justification for demonstrating the operationalization of the AfCFTA in the healthcare sector and especially in the pharmaceutical sector is well-established. Aggregating the continent into one trade space-pulling together demand and market factors provides multiple opportunities to address the pharmaceutical challenges and market distortions.

In developing and showcasing this scalable and sustainable AfCFTA-anchored Pharma Initiative of action, the AfCFTA and Africa Medicines Agency (AMA) are the game changers. The pilot initiative focuses on localized pharmaceutical production, pooled procurement and a harmonized regulatory and quality framework to ensure a sustainable safeguard of quality standards of medicines and products. Going forward taking lessons from the pilot phase and established track record, the Initiative will be scaled up to the continental level. The decision to focus on select maternal and child health-care products was informed by high maternal and infant mortality ratio in Africa as well as huge unmet needs for family planning and other reproductive health commodities that remains valid todate. The maternal and child health burden remains relatively high across the continent and, the challenges relating to maternal and infant mortality persist, particularly in respect of achieving targets of key indicators within the SDGs. In connection to the above, there other existing difficulties such as the lack of preventive immunization measures and vaccines.

The predicted positive overall impact will be reflected in an increased intra-African trade in pharmaceuticals with a decrease of 25 per cent in imports by year two after implementation of the Initiative. Furthermore, enhanced availability of affordable medicines with an estimated cost drop of 25 per cent by year three is forecasted as well as the creation of the needed fiscal space in an era of rising government debts further excabarated by COVID-19. The intended macro improvements are complemented by social gains in significant job creation and increases in women’s productivity. This health and economic initiative, which maximizes the benefits brought about by the AfCFTA and AMA, embodies great opportunities to change and save lives, reduce poverty and contribute to inclusive and sustainable social and economic development in Africa.

II. Overall Objectives of the consultancy

AfCFTA- anchored Pharmaceutical Initiative aims at addressing economic-related challenges facing African member countries relating to high costs of medicines and promote the creation of fiscal space to the African Governments given the emerging trend of rising government debts. The AfCFTA, by virtue of the expanded market opportunities it offers and the potential to create manufacturing hubs, can be a game changer in the fight aga.inst life threatening diseases, especially given the continent’s high disease burden and provides a mitigation framework for preparation from future outbreaks such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resultant consequences.

On the other hand, harmonized pharmaceutical policies are crucial to guaranteeing the protection of the integrated African market from substandard, and counterfeit products and services to enhance Africans’ standards of living and save lives. The continent needs more resilient health systems, economies, and supply chains hence the imperative to invest more in healthcare and strengthen local manufacturing capacity of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Partnerships with the private sector and other relevant stakeholders provides a significant understanding of coordinated approach to
existing initiatives, gaps and areas of collaborations across the continent to ensure implementation of AfCFTA-anchored Pharma Initiative and urgent policy directives from African Heads of States and Governments

With the implementation of AfCFTA -anchored Pharmaceutical Initiative Africa will be in a stronger position to address the twin challenges in pharmaceutical industry: (i) in the short-to-medium term, by using the AfCFTA as platforms for harmonizing national standards as well pool procurement of medicines and pharmaceutical products, and (ii) in the long-term, through increased investment in pharmaceutical production and exports. The African we want cannot have sustainable and inclusive development without meeting the health needs of its growing population. Regulation by ratifying and implementing Centralised Pooled Procurement and AfCFTA, is critical to guaranteeing the protection of the integrated African market from substandard, and counterfeit products and services to enhance Africans’ standards of living by securing their health and economies and save lives.

Given the pivotal role investments in health plays as input in achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth as we have seen with COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission wishes to engage the services of a Pharmaceutical Policy and Partnership Consultant, to support ongoing efforts to develop a framework of action to advance health outcomes and shape health markets in Africa, including through:

(i) Leverage the AfCFTA and AMA in facilitating regional Safety of maternal and child health essential medicines and commodities including vaccines.
(ii) Facilitation and advocacy from the policy angle on local production of maternal and child health essential medicines and commodities.
(ii) Promote the assurance of common regulatory and quality standards of maternal and child health essential medicines and commodities including vaccines.


III. Duties and responsibilities:

The Pharmaceutical Policy Specialist shall:

• Launch a database, research/knowledge platform for benchmarking, evaluating, and disseminating data and results focused on quantifying and evaluating impact of the Initiative implementation (beyond the feasibility) and on the role of private sector interventions in regional health and especially as it relates to impacting health economics, access, equity and health manpower development and capacity building in line with the SDG and UHC principles of access, quality, and affordability,
• Promote innovations and models of PP and LP by encouraging African academic and research institutions, to help understand and encourage ongoing innovative solutions to significantly impact on public health priorities as set for this pharma initiative,
• Launch/strengthen a platform for regional stakeholder dialogue on developments, challenges, and opportunities in the sector at a high-level series of conferences across the continent,
• Support ECA Project Management and Technical team in identifying relevant stakeholders and landscape for Phase II implementation for the project,
• Perform stakeholder mapping and developing relevant database of stakeholders with contacts and influence analysis that can be done on a regular basis. Stakeholder mapping to include regulatory, technical, and advocacy aspects and map out and do diligence and initial discussions with stakeholders,
• Conduct landscape assessment of models for the PP, LP and regulatory to ensure all relevant small SMEs, innovators, more established facilities and other are identified, contacted,
• Quantify and develop a dynamic database for interaction and sharing learnings and market data to help alleviate identified barriers for entry into Pharma,
• Support advocacy platform as well as engagement platforms for supporting data collection and monitoring thereafter,
• Advance dialogue by seeking practical solutions to address remaining hurdles: procurement at regional scale, investment capital, and tech transfers from global manufacturers,
• Identify training and certification needs and ensure potential regional transfer of skills and skills building models.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Master’s degree in public health, preferably PhD in Health Policy and Health systems within biomedical sciences (e.g., Pharmacy, Biology or Biochemistry).
Experience: Experience with resources mobilization is desirable. Experience working in politically sensitive environments as well as building strategic alliances with Governments, Development Partners and other stakeholders is desirable. Experience within the United Nations system or other similar large international organization is desirable.
Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is an advantage.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
Home | Privacy notice | Site map | Fraud alert | Contact Us
Copyright 2021 United Nations. All rights reserved