USP calls for continuous stakeholder collaboration on drug safety in Ghana

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Not-for-profit medicine standards non-governmental organisation (NGO) United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) has called for continuous stakeholder collaboration in Ghana’s medical product quality assurance sector to strengthen surveillance mechanisms.

This the organization says is needed to ensure the quality of medicines on the Ghanaian market.

The Director of USP Ghana/PQM+ West Africa, Kwasi Poku Boateng, made this call at a workshop organized to disseminate the result of a risk-based post market surveillance exercise.

Through the Promotion of Quality Medicines Plus (PQM+) programme, which is a cooperative agreement between USAID and USP to sustainably strengthen medical product quality assurance systems in low- and middle-income countries, the organization with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) partnered with the National Post Marketing Surveillance Technical Working Group (PMS-TWG) and the Food and Drugs Authority to conduct post marketing surveillance of Antimalarials and Maternal and Child Health medicines in Ghana in 2021.

The result of this exercise, according to Mr Kwasi Poku Boateng, shows that the technical collaboration between the relevant stakeholders and partners in the health sector is yielding positive results.

He highlighted some of these positive results.

“Through funding from USAID and with support from our partners we have worked with FDA Ghana to inaugurate a newly established PMS technical working group (TWG) that serves as an instrument to plan and implement PMS activities. The technical working group comprises representatives from: FDA Ghana; national disease control programs on malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS; Expanded Program on Immunization; National Health Insurance Agency; Pharmacy Council; and Ghana Health Service

“This approach has enabled FDA Ghana to generate data on the current state of the quality of antimalarial and MNCH medicines in the country.

“We believe that it is in these technical collaborations that we can effectively tackle the gaps within our drug quality assurance mechanisms in Ghana,” Mr Boateng said.

On her part, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority in charge of Technical Operations Dr Mrs Akua Amartey, on behalf of the Chief Executive, commended the work of the National Post Marketing Surveillance Technical Working Group, adding that the work being done by the committee is key to FDA’s mandate in assessing the efficacy of medicines in a critical area such as maternal and child health.

“We inaugurated the Technical Working Group a year ago with their terms of reference being among other things to provide technical inputs, develop guidance documents and protocols for PMS activities in Ghana. We commend the hardwork of the group. Our gathering here today for the dissemination of the report on the 2021 Risk-Based Post-Marketing Surveillance on antimalarials, maternal, neonatal and child health products is an indication of our collective commitment to ensure that quality, safe and efficacious medical products are available to the Ghanaian public. That is the at the core of our mandate at the FDA,” Dr Amartey remarked.

Participants at the workshop included representatives from the Ghana Health Service, National Malaria Control Program, National Tuberculosis Program, National AIDS control Program, Expanded Program on Immunization, Regional Health Directorates, Pharmacy Council of Ghana, Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management –(GHSC-PSM), Total Family Health Organization (TFHO).

Participants at the workshop

Speaking on USAID’s support to the FDA and USP in the promotion of quality medicines, USAID Health Population and Nutrition Office Director Zohra Balsara said to mitigate the risk of substandard and falsified medicines on the market USAID has worked with the FDA since 2009 to strengthen its internal processes and its regulatory systems, including its ability to ensure quality control of medicines.

The United States Pharmacopeia is a not-for-profit, scientific, standards-setting organization that improves global health through public standards and related programs that helps ensure the quality, safety and benefits of medicine and food.

For the past 200 years since its establishment, the organization, through its global public health programmes, has been strengthening health systems by providing technical assistance that improves access to quality assured medicines and protects patients from poor quality health products as well as support for workforce development.

The organization has been involved with the drug and pharmaceutical sector of Ghana since 2009.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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