Pharmaceutical International News - May 2012
USP Launches CePAT African Drug Control Centre
Posted by Paul Fiddian - Pharmaceutical International's Lead Reporter on 01/05/2012 - 13:10:00
US prescription and over-the-counter drug-based authority the USP (United States Pharmacopeial Convention) is to launch a new African training centre to counter the spread of counterfeit drugs in this part of the world.
Via the USP's Trustees Board, $1.5m in funding has been allocated to help develop a facility called CePAT (Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training) where people will be given the tools to help them identify poor-quality and fake drug supplies.
Although the build location's not yet been confirmed, CePAT's set to be sited in Ghana and, for the region's drug manufacturers, it'll be a place where they can learn about how to improve quality control procedures.
CePAT African Drug Control
Through acting as a place of learning, training and consultation for pharmaceutical firms and drug regulatory bodies alike, the CePAT African drug control centre's expected to become a self-sustaining project three years after going into operation.
Average life expectancy in Sub-Saharan Africa falls below that of all other parts of the world on a number of levels. It's lower in general, lower for infants and those aged under-five and, furthermore, more people die from malaria there than anywhere else, more people get infected with HIV and tuberculosis is at peak levels.
On top of this, says USP, substandard and fake drugs have spread in a big way, encouraged by Sub-Saharan Africa's ‘fundamental problems'. Not only is regulatory framework limited in supply but there's also not too many qualified personnel working in laboratories, a strong reliance on drug imports and only very minor adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices.
It's these challenges, and more, that CePAT's intended to work against.
USP CePAT Centre
The development of the USP CePAT centre represents the first move made by the United States Pharmacopeial Convention's Global Health Impact Program and picks up the baton left by the previous PQM (Promoting the Quality of Medicines) project.
"The work that USP has been able to do through the PQM program has opened our eyes to new opportunities to provide assistance in sub-Saharan Africa", USP's global health impact programme vice president, Patrick Lukulay, explained in a statement.
He added: "Our ability to do long-term work in Africa through this center in Ghana will improve health of patients in the region who are desperate for medicines they can trust."
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