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One-third of antimalarial medicines sampled in 3 African nations found to be substandard
Date:2/9/2010

and were thus substandard. "Substandard" medicines are those that do not meet the quality specifications set for them, primarily because they do not contain the correct amount of the active ingredient(s), do not dissolve properly in the body or include unacceptable levels of potentially harmful impurities.

"The results of the study paint a very unfortunate picture of the situation in Sub-Saharan Africa," said Anthony Boni, the Agreement Officer's Technical Representative for the PQM Program, USAID Office of Health, Infectious Diseases, and Nutrition. "With almost half of medicines in Senegal and more than one out of four medicines in Madagascar and Uganda failing quality testing, clearly much work needs to be done to provide patients with medicines that meet the level of quality they require--and deserve. These countries are committed to protecting the health of their citizens, but the authorities face many challenges in regulating their markets. We look forward to working together with them to reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by malaria, by improving the quality of the medicines used to treat this disease."

"Although alarming, this study offers extremely valuable information that has already been shared with those countries in the hope that local regulatory bodies will focus their attention on products, brands and geographical locations where substandard medicines were found to pose the biggest threats," said Patrick Lukulay, Ph.D., Director of the PQM Program at USP. "The results show some significant differences in terms of where the problems lie. These findings can be used immediately by officials to target their efforts--an especially useful approach when resources are scarce, as they are in these countries."

The main purpose of the study was to update and expand the knowledge base about the prevalence of substandard antimalarials in Sub-Saharan Africa, which are believed to contribute to antimicrobial resistance of Plas
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Contact: Francine Pierson
fp@usp.org
301-816-8588
US Pharmacopeia
Source:Eurekalert

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