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International training to assist governments of 5 African nations in detecting poor-quality drugs
Date:4/18/2011

orld Health Organization study found that 39 percent of tested antimalarial medicines failed quality testingfor reasons that include insufficient amounts of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (a serious problem that can lead to the rise in drug-resistant disease parasites) and excess levels of problematic impurities.

"With inferior medicines threatening the lives of citizens every day in Africa, it is essential for governments to be equipped with the tools necessary to accurately gauge the quality of the medicines circulating in their markets. Having a team of scientists trained in essential analytical techniques is a fundamental aspect of a well-functioning regulatory system that protects the domestic drug supply," said Patrick Lukulay, Ph.D., director of the Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) Program, a USP-U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) program that works in more than 30 countries to help ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines to treat diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. TAP is a USP initiative that makes USP standards available to promote drug quality in developing countries by leveraging resources toward a common goal.

"As Ghana makes strides to address the devastation caused by substandard or fake medications, we are very pleased to host a delegation of countries seeking to do the same," said Stephen Opuni, M.D., chief executive officer of the Ghana Food and Drugs Board. "This training will enhance our ability to detect such 'medicines,' which can cause as much harm as a disease itself."

The objectives of this week's training are to 1) improve the technical competence of the scientists; 2) familiarize participants with information contained in the USPNF and how to utilize the information to effectively perform quality control analysis; and 3) improve capacity and effectiveness of participating laboratories to identify poor-quality and counterfeit medicines.

The training was
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Contact: Francine Pierson
fp@usp.org
301-816-8588
US Pharmacopeia
Source:Eurekalert

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