In response to concerns about substandard and counterfeit medicines and a growing demand for quality-assured medicines in Africa, the United States Pharmacopeial Convention’s (USP) Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training (CePAT) in Accra, Ghana, has expanded its quality control testing and training capabilities and has opened a new pharmaceutical microbiology laboratory.
CePAT was launched in 2013 with the aim of providing high-quality analytical and training services to help strengthen the capacity of national regulatory authorities to detect counterfeit and substandard medicines and of pharmaceutical manufacturers.. Over the past three years, CePAT has trained approximately 190 professionals from 32 African countries on a wide-range of pharmaceutical regulatory, quality assurance and quality control functions.
In buiilding on CePAT’s existing training offerings, the expanded center will now offerhands-on training for the regulatory and manufacturing sectors and additional quality control tests and preventative maintenance of analytical equipment. It will also offer microbiology courses and French language versions of its courses.
Specifically, USP Ghana’s new microbiology laboratory and training facility will help provide pharmaceutical and regulatory professionals across Africa with the skills to detect medicines that have been contaminated by microorganisms, including bacteria. The new lab can also respond to the demand for microbiological testing of medicines and help fill testing gaps in the region, according to USP.
In addition, USP plans to provide scholarships to 12 regulatory professionals from six African countries every two months, with the ultimate aim of building a cadre of well-trained individuals who can help ensure that medicines reaching Africans are safe, effective and beneficial.