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Counterfeit antimalarial drug discovered in Ghana
Date:7/22/2009

er failing initial testing at the site, further testing by Ghana Foods and Drug Board (FDB) confirmed the medicine was indeed counterfeit. The USP DQI Program established the sentinel sites in coordination with the FDB and other partners with funding from USAID/Ghana under the President's Malaria Initiative.

"This episode illustrates that the system the DQI Program established to improve drug quality by removing counterfeits is working," said Rev. Jonahan Martey, head of the FDB's Quality Control Laboratory. "Our joint efforts have only just begun to improve the public health situation here in Ghana, which has been continually challenged by the overwhelming presence of poor quality medicines. I look forward to continuing our work together to address malaria and other neglected diseases in the countryamong the biggest threats to the citizens of Ghana."

The FDB is currently seizing the drugs from wholesale and retail pharmacies as well as from licensed chemical sellers and is warning patients about the presence of the counterfeit Coartem tablets.

"We are pleased to see this compelling example of how the Medicines Quality Monitoring program established by the USP DQI Program is directly and positively impacting the health of patients in Ghana," said Patrick Lukulay, Ph.D., director of the program. "In this case, a local citizen brought the questionable medicine to one of the sentinel sites, which demonstrates one of the key ways we hoped the sites would workby becoming an integrated part of the local community that citizens would feel comfortable and confident going to with concerns."

The USP DQI Program is a cooperative agreement first awarded to USP by USAID in 2000 and renewed in 2005. Through the program, USP works in countries throughout Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Explaining the program, Lukulay notes that, "Every citizen deserves access to good quality medicines, and helping to make this a r
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Contact: Francine Pierson
fp@usp.org
301-816-8588
US Pharmacopeia
Source:Eurekalert

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