Improving Health System Performance in Low-Income Countries through Drug Quality Testing at the POC
PI: Muhammad Zaman
Poor quality medicines account for 30-50% of drugs in low income countries, causing over 700,000 annual deaths. Low and middle income countries that lack a robust regulatory framework are susceptible to an influx of substandard, counterfeit and poor quality drugs. Similarly, humanitarian emergencies and refugee camps also suffer from widespread presence of poor quality medicines. The impact ranges from mortality and morbidity to long-term financial loss and anti-microbial resistance. Testing of life-saving drugs, at all points in the supply chain, including at the point-of-care is essential to safe guard life and the integrity of in-country health system. There is a need for an affordable, quantitative, and user-friendly technology to test medicine quality and protect vulnerable populations. Technologies developed by the Zaman lab, with partners in industry and public health professionals, are aimed at filling this void and are improving medicine quality through rapid, quantitative, affordable and robust testing. These technologies are in various stages of implementation in low-income countries and disaster zones around the world.