Leaders Discuss Best Practices, Challenges For Detecting Counterfeit Medications

During the opening of the 10th annual meeting of the International Society of Pharmacovigilance (ISoP) in Accra, Ghana, the country’s “Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday called on member countries of [the society] to institute effective measures that would help detect fake and counterfeit drugs,” Ghana News Agency reports.

The ISoP, which includes members from across the world, “is an international non-profit scientific organisation, which aims at fostering pharmacovigilance both scientifically and educationally, and to enhance all aspects of the safe and proper use of medicines in all countries,” according to the news service.

During his speech, Mahama said foreign aid provided “to developing countries to fight diseases would not benefit them if vigilance is not intensified to eliminate the malpractices in drug administration.” He also “called on member countries to tighten their security networks to ensure that proper drug administration is practised to repose more confidence in the existing pharmaceutical companies,” Ghana News Agency writes.

The “government of Ghana is creating the necessary environment to become a global major actor in the vigilance against counterfeiting and misuse of drugs and I will like to call on all of you here to do same in your countries,” Mahama said to attendees. The article also includes comments by ISoP President Alexander Doodoo, and Serge Xueref, an official with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (11/3).

The ISoP meeting followed the 33rd Annual Meeting of Representatives of the National Centres participating in the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring, that was also held in Accra, according to an agenda (.pdf) released by the WHO (undated).

“This is the first time that major global drug safety events are being held in sub-Saharan Africa and the choice of Ghana reflects the increasing stature attained by the country in Global Drug Safety,” Ghana News Agency reports in a separate article. According to the news service, “[m]ore than 500 participants representing pharmacovigilance professionals from across the globe” were to attend the ISoP meeting to “examine pharmacovigilance practices across the globe with a view to sharing best practices, highlighting common challenges and developing broad principles for dealing with them.”

The article includes quotes made ahead of the meeting by Doodoo and ISoP’s Brian Edwards and Delese Mimi Darko(10/25).

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