Pharm. Mimi Darko appointed new FDA CEO
Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Posted by: Frank KUMI, Editor
Delese Mimi Darko, a pharmacist, has been appointed by President Akufo-Addo as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
She replaces Hudu Mogtari, also a pharmacist and immediate past CEO of the authority, who was relieved of his appointment recently.
Ms. Darko, is one of the long-serving officers of the FDA working at the agency since its inception. Not only does this make her appointment unique given that previous CEOs in recent history of the country's regulatory authority had been outsiders, she also occupies the highest executive office of the authority as the first female CEO.
Ms. Darko who graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in 1991 as a pharmacist has served the FDA in various capacities.
In 1997, she was one of the pioneers of the newly-established Food and Drugs Board (FDB) which later came to be known as the Food and Drugs Authority.
Ms Darko was in 2005 and 2006 instrumental in the setting up of two technical advisory committees to assist the FDB/FDA in their work.
With the appointment of Dr Stephen Opuni in 2009 by the Mills/Mahama administration as the new CEO of FDA, the departments that were being headed by Ms Darko at the authority were reportedly downsized, leaving her with just two activities, namely Clinical Trials and Pharmacovigilance.
She was subsequently appointed onto the WHO/CIOMS Committee on Vaccine Safety to work with leading regulators from the US, Europe, Canada, Japan and other countries to set standards for global vaccine safety.
In recognition of her excellent performance, the final meeting for that committee was hosted by the FDA in Accra in 2016, first time ever in sub-Saharan Africa.
Due to her growing status and being frequently requested by the international agencies to not only attend, but to be a speaker at their meetings, the vaccines unit of the FDA was added to her department in 2012/2013 by Dr Opuni, just prior to his departure from the FDA.
Her expertise has led to the FDA being nominated and recognised by the NEPAD/African Medicines Regulation Harmonisation (AMRH), Regional Centres of Regulatory Excellence in three very critical areas, namely medicines safety (pharmacovigilance), clinical trials and drug registration.
She single-handedly led a collaboration of the FDA with the UK-MHRA in the area of medicine safety; this collaboration is now multi-divisional at the FDA with anti-counterfeiting as one of the key areas of support.
She is a founding member of AVAREF, the African Vaccines Regulatory Forum, and was nominated last year to serve on the Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) of the newly-organised AVAREF. This has put Ghana in the forefront of research regulation in Africa and has ensured tremendous support to the country in the area of clinical trials.
She has served as an expert advisor on the African Regulators Network (ARN) and worked tirelessly to ensure harmonisation of regulatory systems across Africa.