The medicines for the treatment of Tuberculosis (TB) are fast losing their efficacy, leaving TB patients vulnerable, the Director of Promoting Quality of Medicines (PQM), Mr. Patrick Lukulay, has said.
“Tuberculosis is one of the prevalent diseases in developing countries currently and the medicines for its treatment are fast losing their efficacy. There are currently not enough World Health Organisation Prequalified second-line TB medicines manufacturers to supply medicines to treat the multidrug-resistant strains of Tubercul,” Mr. Lukulay said.
He was speaking at a two-day regional workshop on World Health Organisation (WHO) prequalification standards held in Accra for manufacturers of Second-Line TB medicines.
Second-line TB medicines are used to treat multi-drug resistant strains of tuberculosis.
The workshop, which brought together pharmaceutical companies and regulatory authorities from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia, provided participants technical assistance and training to meet WHO Prequalification standards for the manufacturing of second-line TB medicines.
The PQM program works to combat substandard and counterfeit medicines in developing countries and increase the availability of affordable, high-quality medicines to treat patients’ worldwide suffering from multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.
Mr. Lukulay said the Prequalification workshop will support TB medicines manufacturers to meet WHO Prequalification Standards in order increase access to quality medicines for the treatment of the disease. He said the training will also help raise the bar on standards for regulatory bodies of the pharmaceutical industry who will apply the standards in their respective countries.
Mr. Lorenzo Witherspoon of UNITAID, a funding partner for greater access to quality treatment and diagnostics for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis explained that UNITAID is committed to providing market interventions to increase access to Tuberculosis treatment for developing countries.
He said UNITAID has reduced the cost of Anti-retroviral drugs by 80 percent thereby putting over 400,000 children on the HIV treatment.
He encouraged Pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of the PQM technical assistance to get WHO Prequalification for their medicines. This, he said, “will make them compete globally for the supply of essential medicines.”
By Dominick Andoh