JPMA: Strengthening Quality Control in Asia
The Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA) helps developing countries in Asia to establish efficient pharmaceutical distribution and quality control systems, via the following activities: Training in Japan: Since 1989, the JPMA has worked with the World Health Organization to provide annual Quality Control training courses in Japan for Asian government quality control personnel. JPMA provides practical training in medicines quality control at research laboratories and manufacturing plants, with the help of its member companies. This training strengthens the professional competence of Asian regulatory personnel and helps improve the quality of medicines in developing countries in Asia. To date, JPMA has provided training for 71 regulators; Contracted training in third countries: JPMA also provides training for government personnel from countries such as Bhutan, Cambodia and Laos in a third country, such as Thailand. This approach is used when there may be big differences between the standard of technical equipment in Japan and in the countries concerned. JPMA started in-country training in 2001 and has trained 24 regulators so far via this type of course; Donation of Analytical Instruments: A request from the Cambodian National Laboratory for Drug Quality Control for High-Performance Liquid Chromatographs equipment to improve controls for counterfeit and sub-standard medicines led to donations of analytical instruments by Eisai, Kyowa Hakko, Tanabe and JPMA. Retired employees helped set up the devices and train Cambodian staff to use them; Supply of Reference Substances to ASEAN Countries: Reference substances are extremely pure active ingredients of drugs that are indispensable for assaying the content of pharmaceutical substances in medicine. Since 1992, JPMA has provided free reference substances to support a UN/WHO program which helps ASEAN countries to assay commercially available medicines. This project is now managed by the Bureau of Drugs and Narcotics (BDN), Thai Ministry of Public Health. JPMA now funds acquisition of substances from within the ASEAN region.