International Technological Capacity Building Undertaken by USP

A new initiative between the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) and six government drug control laboratories in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been undertaken to improve the governments’ drug testing capabilities.

Attempting to facilitate the development of broader technological expertise in the government drug testing laboratories, The MENA Regional Laboratory Network “aims to promote communication and exchange of information among participating countries, strengthen the performance and technical skill of the laboratories and their personnel, harmonize methods that facilitate approval of drugs across countries in the region, and help eliminate substandard and counterfeit drugs.”

The Network was agreed to by senior officials of government laboratories from Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia in a meeting with USP officials on October 10. USP representatives were in Amman to participate in the Sixth USP Science & Standards Symposium cosponsored with the Jordanian Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (JAPM) and the Jordan Food and Drug Administration (FDA). JAPM was involved in developing the Network concept.

USP will provide program management, initial funding, reference standards, and technical analyses. If the Network is deemed successful by participants, additional government drug control laboratories in the region may be invited to join.