Healthcare agencies from across Southeast Asia will collaborate to combat fake and substandard medicines under a new agreement reached at a meeting in Thailand.
Regulators from across the Greater Mekong sub-region - namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and China – gathered in Bangkok last month for the first meeting of BREMERE, “Building Regional Expertise in Medicines Regulation, Information Sharing, Joint Investigation and Enforcement.”
The event –which was initiated by the PQM and implemented by the United States Pharmacopoeial Convention (USP) – was designed to establishe a framework through with the various agencies will collaborated to prevent fake and substandard drugs harming patients and hindering efforts to combat disease.
The idea is for the agencies to share inspection duties, results and information on any fake products that are detected with their peers across the wider region in a bid to stop such products being passed from country to country.
Speaking at the event Kennedy Chibwe, senior program advisor for PQM, said: “BREMERE represents an important step in joint efforts in the GMS aimed directly at combating the scourge of counterfeit and substandard medicines.”
“PQM’s work with regulatory agencies and ministries of health has shown that evidence based data on poor-quality medicines collected from the field in each country in the GMS has been useful for supporting administrative and regulatory actions by country law enforcement agencies.
“Through the establishment of BREMERE, PQM and its partners hope to create a mechanism for sustained regional and inter-sector communications that helps protect the supply and distribution of medicines within individual countries and across borders in the GMS.
Attendees agreed on the formation of BREMERE at the meeting and finalisation of the agreement is expected by the end of the year.