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Delegates visit the IDDO exhibition stand

First ever international conference on Medicine Quality and Public Health this month

23 September 2018

The Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO), together with WWARN and many partners including the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), the Concept Foundation, the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) and the Wellcome Trust are hosting the first Medicine Quality and Public Health conference at Keble College, Oxford, 23-28 September 2018. 

Over 200 experts from around 50 countries will attend the MQPH 2018 conference to discuss strategies and exchange ideas for tackling the proliferation of poor quality medicines and medical products. This important, but often neglected public health problem, threatens the lives of millions both in low-and-middle-income and high-income countries.

The conference aims to strengthen partnerships across different sectors from academia, public health, pharmacy and chemistry to law and ethics. An Oxford statement, coordinated by Professor Paul Newton, based at the Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital Wellcome Trust Research Unit (LOMWRU) will be discussed as an advocacy campaign for all partners at the end of the conference this week.

Professor Paul Newton explains, ‘The statement will outline the key opportunities and suggested ‘next steps’ to tackle medicine quality challenges. The conference provides us with an excellent opportunity to foster closer collaboration and international coordination on matters relating to medicine quality.’

Dr Suzanne Hill, Director of the Essential Medicines and Health Products Department of the World Health Organization (WHO) will be joined by opening speaker Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Agnes Sitta Kijo, Acting Director General of the Tanzanian Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), Professor Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, Director General of the Nigerian National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control (NFDA) and Professor Sir Nicholas White, Chairman of the Wellcome Trust Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit.

Dr Raffaella Ravinetto, senior researcher at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp and scientific advisor at QUAMED, will chair the first conference session on preventing, detecting and responding to poor quality medicines. Michael Deats, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) group lead for Substandard and Falsified Medical Products, will provide an overview of poor quality medicine, including the causes, consequences and WHO’s role in addressing the challenges. In the afternoon, Professor Sir Nicholas White will chair a session reviewing the latest evidence on the contribution of poor quality medicines to increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

There will be a number of short talks during the conference on a range of medicine quality topics including: challenges and detection of falsified medicines and internet and illegal medicine sales. Antimalarials are at the heart of the debate with evidence on the issue of falsified, substandard and unregulated medicines affecting many health centres, regulators and communities.The WWARN Antimalarial Quality Surveyor will be presented on Tuesday, 25 September.

On Tuesday, 25 September, delegates will learn about the economics and policy influencing medicine quality at a session chaired by Fiona Theunissen, programme manager at the Concept Foundation in Geneva.

IDDO and WWARN will lead a number of sessions at the conference including a discussion on the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of current technologies to screen for poor quality medicines on the morning of Tuesday 25 September. Professor Philippe Guérin, Director of IDDO and WWARN, will co-chair with Dr Céline Caillet, IDDO’s Medicine Quality Research Scientist. The session will share findings of an IDDO-MORU systematic review, published in the BMJ Global Health journal that evaluated screening technologies for poor quality medicines. In the afternoon IDDO will host a session optimising survey techniques and data sharing to help tackle poor quality, substandard and falsified medicines.

On Wednesday 26 September, delegates will attend talks on the ethics, corruption and public trust related to medicine quality. Experts from the pharmaceutical industry, legal, and financial sectors will lead discussions on Thursday 27 September – sharing perspectives on how to strengthen medicine regulation in different economic and political contexts. Dr Souly Phanouvong, Director of Global Public Health Asia at USP, will chair a session on the pre-qualification of medical products on the Thursday afternoon.

The conference will conclude, Friday 28 September with talks from Marie Lamy, Director of Access and Policy at APLMA, discussing the problem of falsified and substandard antimalarial medicines in the Greater Mekong Subregion and policy-making in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Marie Lamy will be joined by Dr Katherine Bond, Vice President of International Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs at USP, who will talk about USP’s ‘Medicines We Can Trust’ campaign, promoting safe, quality medicine for all. IDDO alongside WWARN are supporters and members of this new advocacy campaign.

Follow @IDDOnews to read the conference highlights and tweet using #MQPH2018 and #MedsWeCanTrust

For delegate information please visit this page and full programme details can be found in the conference brochure.

For media enquiries please e-mail Andrea Stewart: andrea [dot] stewart [at] wwarn [dot] org.

If you’re not attending the conference, but would like to learn more about our work on Medicine Quality, please visit our Medicine Quality page or e-mail info [at] iddo [dot] org.