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Cambodia takes action in fight against substandard and counterfeit medicines
Date:4/28/2010

Rockville, Md., April 28, 2010 In a major crackdown, Cambodia has forced nearly 65 percent of illegal pharmacies operating in the country to close within the past five months. Led by an Inter-Ministerial Committee to Fight against Counterfeit & Substandard Medicines (IMC), the shops were targeted because of evidence that they were among the primary sources of substandard and counterfeit medicines in the country. This evidence was generated from medicines quality monitoring activities conducted in Cambodia by the Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) Program, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded program implemented by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), with additional support from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and the World Health Organization.

The string of recent activity by the Cambodian government has resulted in a reduction of illegal outlets from 1,081 in November 2009 to 379 in March 2010, or 64.9 percent, according to an April report by the Cambodian Ministry of Health. As part of this effort, the government also banned sales of products from five manufacturers in the country. These actions are an outgrowth of the IMC, which consists of Cambodia's Ministries of Health; Interior; Justice; Information; Commerce; Education, Youth and Sport; Economy and Finance; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and Municipality of Phnom Penh.

The IMC was formed in 2005 under the direction of the Cambodian government after 2004 figures showed that 16.2 percent of antimalarials sampled from retail pharmacy outlets in the private sector of four provinces were of poor quality. A major barrier identified in combating the presence of these medicines was lack of coordination among the various ministries. With financial and technical support from the USAID-USP program, the group developed an action plan to significantly reduce the number of substandard and counterfeit medicines. A January 2010 officia
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Contact: Francine Pierson
fp@usp.org
301-816-8588
US Pharmacopeia
Source:Eurekalert

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