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African institutions and USP announce free access to resources to support production of quality medical products in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, June 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Pharmacopeia (USP), in collaboration with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA –NEPAD), the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the Association of African Universities (AAU), and the Federation of African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (FAPMA) today announced a new initiative toward advancing the shared goals of increasing access to quality medicines and vaccines. The United States Pharmacopeia National Formulary (USP-NF) and the USP Education training library will be available free of charge to all stakeholders in Africa working to advance the pharmaceutical ecosystem, including to regulatory authorities, laboratories, academic institutions, and manufacturers. 

"Scientific quality standards and a knowledgeable workforce with ability to apply them are important enablers to build trust and confidence in African-produced medical products," said Ronald T. Piervincenzi, Ph.D., CEO of USP. "Through our shared efforts, we aim to dramatically advance the production and availability of quality medical products for people throughout Africa."

The USP-NF includes more than 5,000 quality standards for medicines, both chemical and biologic; active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs); and excipients (inactive ingredients). It is one of the most comprehensive sources for medicine quality standards in the world.

"Africa's over-reliance on pharmaceutical imports created unacceptable supply chain vulnerabilities and delays during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. Jean Kaseya, Director-General of Africa CDC. "We are committed to working with partners like USP to build African manufacturing capacity to ensure that never happens again." 

This initiative supports several African-led efforts to increase production of quality medical products, including Africa CDC's New Public Health Order and AUDA-NEPAD's Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa. AUDA-NEPAD, Africa CDC, AAU and FAPMA are collaborating in this effort by engaging their networks to maximize access to these resources.

"Development and growth of the pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing sector in Africa is critical to building sustainable and equitable access to health products in Africa," said Mr. Symerre Grey Johnson, Director for Human Capital and Institutional Development of AUDA-NEPAD. "With the actualization of the African Medicines Agency coupled with the African Free Trade Agreement and high-level commitments made by the African Union and numerous heads of states, the enabling conditions are primed for this sector to grow."

This initiative also builds upon USP's decades-long efforts to expand access to quality medical products in Africa. Through USP's own direct investment combined with funding from donors such as the U.S. Agency for International Development and others, USP's global health programs have spanned collaboration and capacity building with 39 African manufacturers and 33 regional and national regulatory authorities in Africa, including the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization program, the precursor to African Medicines Agency.

"The growth of pharmaceutical manufacturing in Africa hinges on a dynamic and robust workforce," said Prof. Olusola Oyewole, Secretary-General of the Association of African Universities (AAU). "The development of a well-trained human resource pool with access to essential resources, such as those provided by USP, is crucial for educating tomorrow's workforce, and transforming the continent's pharmaceutical ecosystem."

The announcement was made at the inaugural meeting of USP's new Africa Regional Chapter, which brings critical perspectives, insights, and expertise that inform priority issues and strengthen USP's work as a part of its official governance structure. USP's regional chapters also provide a forum for regional stakeholders to collaborate to advance common priorities, such as advancing pharmaceutical manufacturing and trade.

"Quality, including the adoption and scale up of accepted quality standards, must be at the heart of Africa's expanding pharmaceutical sector," said Emmanuel Mujuru, Chairperson of Federation of African Pharmaceutical Manufacturer's Association (FAPMA). "These resources will help African manufacturers move ever closer toward a thriving, quality-focused African pharmaceutical industry."

For more information about access to USP-NF and USP's Education training library, visit www.usp.org/AccessforAfrica.

USP Media Contact:

Nazila Fathi

Nazila.fathi@USP.org

(301) 816-8547

About USP

USP is an independent scientific organization that collaborates with the world's top experts in health and science to develop quality resources and standards for medicines, dietary supplements and food ingredients. This includes actively collaborating with academic research centers, industry, and regulators to help with the adoption and implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies. Through our resources, standards, advocacy and education, USP helps increase the availability of quality medicines, supplements and foods for billions of people worldwide. For more information, visit: www.usp.org.

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SOURCE U.S. Pharmacopeia

By: PR Newswire Association LLC. - 13 Jun 2024
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