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Professor Paul Newton

Professor Paul Newton

Podcast interview

Poor quality medicines

Poor quality medicines are a serious threat to our health. Falsified medicines and substandards medicines are a problem for all countries, but particularly for low and middle income countries where we see, for example, a large epidemic of fake anti-malarial drugs. Globally, better medicine regulatory authorities will help improve the quality of our medicines.

View podcast transcript

Paul Newton

Professor of Tropical Medicine

  • Head of Medicine Quality Research Group

Medicine Quality Research Group

Paul is an infectious disease physician heading the Medicine Quality Research Group in Oxford, that is part of the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO) in Oxford and the Mahidol University Oxford University Research Unit (MORU) in Bangkok. The main aims of the group are to improve our understanding of the epidemiology and impact of substandard and falsified (SF) medical products, the evaluation of devices for detecting SF medicines and vaccines in supply chains and development of innovative tools for pharmaceutical forensics.  We engage with policy makers to use this evidence to improve the quality of global medical products and to build a research community on this neglected subject.

We organised short courses in Medicine Quality & Public Health and the first international conference in this field in Oxford in 2018 and plan to restart these post-pandemic.

The group consists of six full time (three reading for DPhils) and six part time staff from ten countries, based in the UK, Laos, Vietnam and Spain, plus three Honorary Visiting Research Fellows.

In 1999 he began, with the late Dr Rattanaphone Phetsouvanh, Professor Mayfong Mayxay, Dr Manivanh Vongsouvath and Professors Nicholas White and Nicholas Day, the Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Research Unit (LOMWRU), based within the Microbiology Laboratory of Mahosot Hospital, Vientiane, Lao PDR. Part of the MORU Tropical Health Network based in Bangkok, they conducted clinical research together, to yield evidence to improve global, regional and Lao public health and to build laboratory, clinical and research capacity in Laos. He was appointed Honorary Professor of the National University of Lao and the Medal of Labor from the President of Lao PDR; he moved to Oxford in 2019. His interests include medicine quality, the epidemiology and management of fevers, especially scrub typhus and murine typhus, antimicrobial resistance, beri beri and central nervous system infections.