USP has launched the Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training
in Accra, Ghana.Learn more about USP’s efforts to improve the
quality of medicines globally at

We were most fortunate to have Patrick Lukulay, PhD, Vice President of Global Health Impact Operations for the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) as a panelist at this year’s Interchange. He shared thought-provoking commentary on drug importation and global responsibility in the efforts to combat counterfeit drugs.

As a researcher who works on the front lines of the effort to combat counterfeit drugs, in Africa and Asia, Dr. Lukulay brought original ideas to the Interchange and fresh perspective on how each country has a moral responsibility to staunch the flow of fake and substandard drugs into the global drug supply chain.

His own work with the USP has helped bring both technology and knowledge to customs agents and local medical establishments in Cambodia and Ghana. The Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training (CePAT) set up this last September in Accra, Ghana acts as a training facility for medicine testing and verification. Explaining his commitment to efforts like CePAT Dr. Lukulay said “I consider surveillance the heartbeat of effective drug regulation.”

Dr. Lukulay also addressed one of the more troubling facets of drug importation: the moral obligations of countries that turn a blind eye to transhipping of fake or substandard medicines.

“I think every regulatory authority has the responsibility to be able to ensure that if an establishment is on their soil, that they have the moral responsibility to make sure that those medicines don’t go anywhere, even if they are not meant to be sold in that country.”

By S. Imber