Ethiopia is training new staff and building capacity to better evaluate the safety of drugs within its country’s borders by using laboratory quality management systems and learning to test for authenticity.
In order to ensure the quality of the country’s essential medicines, Promoting the Quality of Medicines, a USAID program, has been working with the Ethiopian government to build capacity of the Ethiopian Food, Medicines, and Health Care Products Administration and Control Authority (EFMHACA). Since August, 23 staff members have been trained on laboratory quality management systems, says U.S. Pharmacopeia, a partner in the program.
In addition, 11 staff members of the EFMHACA Registration and Licensing Directorate were trained in the assessment of bioavailability and bioequivalence data. The Quality Safety Medicines Division of the World Health Organization provided trainers and training on bioequivalence testing of artemisinin-based combination medications.
Artemisinin based combination treatment (ACT) are a standard treatment worldwide for falciparum malaria. Bioequivalence testing is the evaluation of the active ingredients in ACT medications for both the appropriate quantity of active substances, as well as bioavailability (the percentage of the dose that is available for the body to use.)