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Every person has the right to expect that when they use a medical product, whether medicine, vaccine or diagnostic kit, it works. But too often, that is not the case. Substandard medical products result from errors, negligence or poor practice in manufacturing, transportation and/or storage. In contrast, falsified products result from criminal fraud. Both innovative and generic products are affected.

“Access to safe and effective medical coverage is essential to WHO goals. There is no universal health coverage, no health security without access to quality medicines.”

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO, 27 September 2018

While substandard and falsified (SF) medical products are found worldwide, they are more prevalent in countries with under-resourced national medicine regulatory authorities (NMRAs).

Representatives of governments, national and international agencies, non-governmental organisations, professional associations and academic institutions participated in the 1st International Conference on Medicine Quality & Public Health at Keble College, Oxford 23-28 September 2018.

The conference discussed the latest evidence on the epidemiology of SF medical products, their health, economic, social, legal and ethical implications, and debated interventions to ensure that all the world’s population have access to affordable and quality-assured medical products.

The organisations comprising the #MedsWeCanTrust Campaign and others listed below reached consensus that:

  • The quality of medical products is critical to protect lives globally. Substandard and falsified medical products negate the benefits of access to modern healthcare, especially for the most vulnerable.
  • We must work collaboratively across sectors to raise awareness, encourage political will, investment and action to make quality medical products affordable and accessible to all.
  • We will work in support of WHOs recommendation for the Prevent, Detect and Respond framework against SF medical products and for the global strengthening of medicines regulatory systems.
  •  We call on governments, national and international organisations and funders to prioritise human capacity and financial investment to ensure effective, efficient and consistent quality assurance by all NMRAs, including improved data sharing and harmonisation, with linked efficient procurement and supply systems leading to equitable access and improved global health.

A detailed consensus statement is in development with all conference partners comprising priorities and recommendations for the Medicine Quality community. It is anticipated this will be published in 2019.

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