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New research reveals extent of poor-quality antimalarial medicines in South American countries
Date:8/1/2012

Rockville, Md., August 1, 2012 Two articles recently published in Malaria Journal shed new light on the quality of antimalarial medicines circulating in countries in the Amazon Basin in South America. Researchers from the Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) program, a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), in conjunction with country partners, coordinated these studies in the context of the Amazon Malaria Initiative (AMI).

"Though several studies in recent years have assessed the quality of antimalarial medicines circulating in Africa and Asia, there have been no comprehensive studies looking at the situation in the Americas," said Patrick Lukulay, Ph.D., vice president of Global Health Impact Programs at USP and director of the PQM program. "This region has been largely overlooked, perhaps because of a perception that substandard and counterfeit medicines pose less of a threat in these countries. However, the findings in one of the studies in which medicines were assessed in the private and informal sectors in two countries indicate that poor-quality medicines are indeed a serious concern for antimalarials. The data from the other study suggests that the systematic implementation of basic, rapid and low-cost quality testing helps in reducing the prevalence of poor-quality medicines on the market."

The first study, Quality of Antimalarials Collected in the Private and Informal Sectors in Guyana and Suriname, assessed the quality of circulating antimalarial medicines in the private (licensed pharmacies, wholesalers and distributors) and informal (unlicensed shops and convenience stores) sectors. No information was previously available about the quality of these medicines. Though antimalarials are usually distributed through public health facilities at no cost in these countries, the private and informal sectors thrive in Guyana and Surinamepar
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Contact: Theresa Laranang-Mutlu
trl@usp.org
301-816-8167
US Pharmacopeia
Source:Eurekalert

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