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Strategic Alliance Formed to Fight Counterfeit Drugs
Date:10/29/2013

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new partnership to improve access to high quality, safe and beneficial medicines was formalized today between the Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF), a charitable organization initiated and funded exclusively by donations from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and the Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training (CePAT) in Ghana, a facility established by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) to help build local and regional capacity in pharmaceutical quality assurance and quality control.

"CePAT is one of the most important initiatives to ever be implemented in this part of the world, as it goes deep into the root problem of lack of quality medicines in Africa, which is insufficient human resource capacity," said Dr. Stephen K. Opuni, CEO of the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority.

"We at GPHF are excited about this opportunity to partner with CePAT on this important initiative to combat the scourge of counterfeit drugs. Substandard and fake medicines pose a true public health threat," said Frank Gotthardt, Chairman of the Global Pharma Health Fund.

Counterfeit medications are a major challenge in developing countries, where there are limited resources for screening and quality assurance.

The collaboration between CePAT and GPHF outlines a strong plan to improve local capacity to detect substandard and counterfeit drugs through training at CePAT's facility in Ghana and the use of the GPHF-Minilab®, a mobile mini-laboratory for rapid drug quality verification and counterfeit medicines detection.

Both the GPHF and CePAT believe that this strengthened cooperation will contribute to realizing their common vision, which is of a world in which all citizens have access to high quality, safe and beneficial medicines.

A memorandum of understanding formalizing the alliance will be signed today during a ceremony hosted by the H.E. Peter Ammon, the German Ambassador to the United States, at his residence in Washington, DC. 

About the Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF)
The Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF) is a charitable organization initiated and funded exclusively by donations from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Within international development assistance initiatives, GPHF aims to improve health care and medicines supply, the work currently supporting the fight against counterfeit and substandard quality medicines proliferation using GPHF-Minilab® test kits. The GPHF-Minilab® is a mobile mini-laboratory that helps in the detection of counterfeit medicines. It enables health facilities responsible for drug purchase, storage and distribution to protect themselves and patients against the danger of counterfeit medicines consumption. To date, 600 Minilabs have been supplied to health facilities across 80 countries. For more information, visit www.gphf.org.

About the Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training (CePAT)
The Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training (CePAT) in Accra, Ghana, was established by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) to help build human resource capacity in pharmaceutical quality assurance and quality control by training local professionals to serve as technical experts. Provided under USP's Global Health Impact Programs (GHIP), CePAT delivers an integrated platform of training, laboratory services and consulting services to support and strengthen quality assurance systems in a sustainable way in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. For more information visit: http://uspgo.to/CePAT-program.


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SOURCE Global Pharma Health Fund
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