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World-renowned Wits vaccines prof to chair SA medicine regulatory board

- Wits University

The Minister of Health has appointed Wits Professor Helen Rees to chair the Board of the South African Health Products Authority.

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi appointed Professor Helen Rees, Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (Wits RHI) as Chair of the SAHPRA earlier this month.

SAHPRA, which replaces the Medicines Control Council (MCC), will ensure that the medicines in South Africa are safe, effective and of good quality.

Rees has extensive experience in the field of medicines regulation and on governance boards. She has served on many regulatory committees, including being the current and previous Chair of the MCC (1998-2002; 2014 to present). She is recognised by her peers to be an exceptional leader of the MCC.

Between 2011-2014, Rees chaired the SA Health Products Technical Task Team to advise the Director-General of Health and the Health Minister on the legal and operational transition from the MCC to SAHPRA, including prioritisation of the transformation agenda.

Her experience has given her extensive knowledge of medicines regulation, including as Chair of MCC’s Pharmacovigilance Committee (2001), Chair of MCC’s Clinical Trials Committee (1997-1998) and as a member of MCC’s Clinical Committee (1996-1998).