USP lab in Ghana teams up with Minilab charity

MinilabA new lab in Ghana set up by the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has joined forces with the Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF) to combat counterfeit medicines.

The GPHF, a charitable organization backed by German drugmaker Merck KGaA, will work with the Centre for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training (CePAT) - which was set up in May to improve local capacity to detect substandard and counterfeit drugs - via a training programme and the use of GPHF's Minilab.

The suitcase-sized unit detects falsified and poor quality medicines by measuring the amount of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) they contain, focusing on medicines such as anti-tuberculosis drugs, antimalarials and HIV drugs, as well as certain essential medicines for non-transmissible diseases.

"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, chief executive of the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

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

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