JPMA: Anti-Counterfeiting Program in Cambodia
The Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA), Kanazawa University and the Cambodian Ministry of Health started a joint project to combat counterfeit medicines in Cambodia in 2006. Surveys conducted from 2006 to 2010 have detected counterfeit drugs sold without packaging and substandard drugs, mainly from local manufacturers and sold via illegal pharmacies. The surveys also revealed that the national drug registration system was not functioning satisfactorily, with drugs marketed without registration, labeled with incorrect registration numbers, or registered but non-compliant with specifications. The JPMA is helping to build the capacity of the Cambodian National Health Product Quality Control Center (NHQC) by transferring pharmaceutical evaluation technologies, the donation of analytical instruments, and on-site guidance by Japanese experts in pharmaceutical science and technology and quality control. It is also pursuing collaborative research to correct or improve the problems and issues associated with the counterfeit drug problem. To that end, the JPMA has made a number of specific proposals to the the Cambodian Ministry of Health. The Cambodian counterpart of JPMA has acknowledged the counterfeit drug problem and is exerting its best efforts to solve the problem. Since the current project was started in 2006, the number of unregistered drugs and illegal pharmacies has decreased. The JPMA considers it feasible to improve the current regulatory situation in Cambodia by closely monitoring the distribution of drugs in the market, to generate information which could help reinforce the drug registration system, license approval system, and GMP compliance.