First Graduate of Regulatory Affairs Programme to help African Governments

The first Master of Medicines Regulatory Affairs student, Moses Kasigazi, has just graduated. He intends to use his experience from the programme to advise the government and regulatory bodies in Rwanda to help improve the African medical and pharmaceutical markets.

A portrait of Moses Kasigazi who is smiling

Moses Kasigazi is a pharmacist with a Master’s degree in Global Health and Infectious Diseases. He has just this month been awarded the Master of Medicines Regulatory Affairs at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences because he wants to contribute to the growth of regulatory affairs and regulation of medicines in his home country, Rwanda.

“I noticed there was a general move towards strengthening regulatory affairs back home, but the country was restrained by limited resources and capacity. I chose this Master’s programme because I want to be able to help advise government and regulatory bodies in Rwanda on how to optimize regulatory affairs without compromising the outcome on access to medicines. For that, I needed a specialized education, and I found that at University of Copenhagen,” he says.

Now that he has finished the programme, he is the first Master of Regulatory Affairs from the University of Copenhagen.

Experience from different nationalities

In most of Africa, the medical market is quite different from the one we know in Denmark and Europe.

“There are just less options in Africa. Most of the markets there are price-best markets, meaning the big decisions are made based on the potential for money. But this programme teaches us that quality and outcome is also a very important part of the market access pathways. It gives me ideas on new methods and options I could suggest to my government to improve the regulatory terrain,” he says.

Being a hub for students of many different nationalities and different fields of the pharmaceutical sector, the international teaching environment at University of Copenhagen gives the students the opportunity to compare their experiences from within the field across companies and borders of their home countries.

“We get a thorough insight into what difficulties are present in different countries without having to travel there. In that way, we are presented to the issues through a lense of actual experience. We learn a lot from each other,” Moses says.

A partnership is crucial

In order to overcome some of the obstacles that are present in the African market access area, it is helpful to draw on the experiences of the lecturers, most of whom are professionals with vast experience in the areas they lecture on.

“Studying at University of Copenhagen, we are given the chance to see some of these issues from the perspective of the companies. That enables me to give better advice on market access and other regulatory affairs to the regulatory bodies back home. It gives me the tools to better advocate for quality and outcome rather than price, but keeping in mind access and affordability for patients. I am now aware, more than ever, that the whole process has to be a partnership with other stakeholders. Otherwise, it can’t be done,” Moses says.

Interview from January 2020.