USP Launches Initiative to Fight Counterfeit Drugs in Sub-Saharan Africa

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New Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training increases number of experts and available tools in Sub-Saharan countries.

The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has announced the launch of the Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training (CePAT) in Accra, Ghana. CePAT is part of USP’s initiative to combat drug counterfeiting in Sub-Saharan Africa. The center is also part of the organization’s effort to promote global access to good quality medicines and is being launched as a Commitment to Action through the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).

“CePAT is a natural extension of USP’s core mission of establishing public standards for the quality of medicines, foods, and dietary supplements. As USP has become increasingly active throughout the world, the need to support efforts to provide good quality medicines to everyone who requires them has become more important. CePAT is a positive step in that direction, and has been realized in part through our strong working relationships with the Ghanaian and other Sub-Saharan African medicines regulatory authorities,” Roger L. Williams, MD, USP’s chief executive officer, stated in a USP press release.


Substandard and counterfeit medicines are a problem in Sub-Saharan Africa where more than 90% of drug samples tested by USAID-USP failed either the test for API or sterility, and only three of the 26 products tested were officially registered with the Ghana Food and Drug Authority.  US Ambassador to Ghana, Gene Allan Cretz, said in the press release, “Improvements in this area are critical, and I am proud that CePAT is playing a role in tackling this problem, and that the US Presidents’ Malaria Initiative and USAID activities laid the groundwork for establishing USP in Ghana.”