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More Data, Investment Needed To Strengthen Quality Assurance Practices For Medicines

Devex: Opinion: Medicines shouldn’t make people sicker — protecting people from poor-quality meds
Emily Kaine, senior vice president of global health for USP

“New research published in the JAMA Network Open journal has found that 13.6 percent of medicines in low- and middle-income countries are falsified or substandard … In practice, that means people who believe they are being treated for malaria and children who are taking antibiotics to fight pneumonia are actually taking poor-quality medicines that may put them at risk of prolonged illness, poisoning, adverse drug reactions, and even death. … The good news is that we know how to solve this problem. It starts with strong local country infrastructure in the form of medicines regulatory authorities, or MRAs. With the right regulations in place, MRAs can watch medicines circulating in the market and remove poor-quality ones. … We need more data and more donors to invest in quality assurance for medicines, including medicines surveillance. This will ensure quality medicines are reaching patients and saving lives” (9/6).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.