USP Workshop Preps Lab Directors on Emerging Solutions to Control Poor Quality Medicines

Directors of Official Medicines Control Laboratories to Attend Workshop on Enhanced Quality Control Tools and Approaches

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Sept. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) will convene directors of 17 Official Medicines Control Laboratories (OMCLs) in Sub-Saharan Africa for a workshop on emerging solutions to detect and control poor quality medicines on September 22-23 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The workshop is designed to provide an annual opportunity for the Africa chapter of USP’s Networks of Official Medicines Control Laboratories (NOMCoL) to develop skills and regional solutions for controlling poor quality medicines. This year’s theme, “Emerging Solutions in Detection Technologies,” will focus on how the network could deploy emerging, portable technologies to scale-up and expand their efforts.

“Controlling the proliferation of poor quality medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa is a major public health challenge,” said Kelly Willis, USP’s Senior Vice President of Global Public Health. “Leveraging NOMCoL-Africa’s network of quality control experts to develop and apply regional approaches and solutions to this problem, including those that make frontline detection technologies more accessible in low and middle income countries, will have a substantial and lasting impact on improving the quality of medicines available to combat high-burden diseases across the region.”

Malaria, for example, is a treatable and preventable problem, yet it continues to disproportionately affect many Sub-Saharan African communities. The looming threat of poor quality antimalarials and the spread of drug-resistant strains of the parasite across the region have created an urgent need for enhanced detection tools and surveillance approaches and increased vigilance to protecting supply chain systems and patients. As much as 30 percent of the region’s supply of antimalarial medicines is poor quality. Many nations, however, lack the financial and human resources needed to detect and remove them aggressively and effectively.

At the workshop, members of the Africa chapter of USP’s Networks of Official Medicines Control Laboratories (NOMCoL) will learn about emerging technologies and solutions for detecting poor quality medicines, how they could be deployed through a cost-effective approach to post-marketing surveillance, and how national quality control laboratories and other parts of the regulatory system could benefit. Participants will also discuss general laboratory best practices, novel approaches to creating sustainable solutions, and ideas for strengthening official medicines control laboratories throughout the region.

NOMCoL-Africa is one of four regional OMCL networks established by USP to provide a forum for sharing best practices on medicines quality issues at national and regional levels. These networks offer unique inter-laboratory testing activities for participating labs to improve laboratory performance, as well as harmonize their methodologies and approaches.

USP – Global Expertise, Trusted Standards, Improved Health
USP is a global health organization that improves lives through public standards and related programs that help ensure the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods. USP’s standards are used worldwide. For more information about USP visit http://www.usp.org.

Latifa Boyce
Phone: 301-816-8229
Email: lmb@usp.org