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USP plans Ghana lab to offer QC services & training in Africa

By Nick Taylor , 10-Apr-2012

USP plans to open a laboratory and training centre in Ghana to strengthen quality control and offer services in sub-Saharan Africa.

Creation of the US Pharmacopeia (USP) Sub-Saharan Africa Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training (CePAT) will add capacity and capabilities for bolstering quality control in the region. When operational CePAT will fund itself by offering quality control services to local manufacturers.

USP has committed $1.5m (€1.1m) to the project and is now seeking additional funds from donors to cover costs related to construction, instrumentation, and staffing. Funding will also subsidise use of the centre by locals for the first three years.

After three years of subsidised operations USP expects the centre to achieve self-sufficiency. USP is looking to outsourcing deals with local manufacturers and regulators to drive revenue growth at the centre.

Planned services include: good manufacturing practice (GMP) training; quality control testing for local manufacturers, donor agencies, or procurement organisations; and supply chain integrity and laboratory design consulting.

Using CePAT in Accra, Ghana as a model, USP plans to set up centres in Asia and Latin America. The centres have the potential to compensate for a lack of education and laboratory capacity in the regions.

USP noted this deficiency in sub-Saharan Africa when running its pilot Technical Assistance Program (TAP) last year. The project provided training at reduced pricing but “it became clear that there was a need for a more permanent presence that could deliver training on-demand, tailored to local needs”.

Clinton commitment

At the end of last month USP said the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) had invited it to create a plan to address the problem of substandard and fake medicines. CGI holds meetings with world leaders to create and carry out ways to fix such problems.

Joining the CGI community is a critical step in furthering our efforts, particularly as we seek partners to help us maximise the benefit our experience can provide to underserved nations and populations”, Brian Hendrix, chief operating officer at USP, said.

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