New guidelines will help detect and study counterfeit medicines

Mar 24, 2009

New guidelines proposed by a group of international experts will help better study the prevalence and geography of counterfeit and other poor quality medicines that threaten public health across the world. The guidelines—called MEDQUARG, which stands for Medicine Quality Assessment Reporting Guidelines—are published in this week's open access journal PLoS Medicine.

A significant proportion of drugs consumed in the are of poor quality, many of which are counterfeit, say the authors, all experts on drug quality working in Kenya, Laos, Thailand, the UK, and the US. This begs the question—how can we translate evidence on best drug treatment outcomes into treatment policy if the medicines actually used have substantially inferior effectiveness compared with the medicines originally evaluated? There are no existing about the most appropriate sampling and reporting strategies for surveys.

Paul Newton and colleagues reviewed previous work on the quality of medicines and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different study methods, including how to sample medicines for testing. They also reviewed how quality studies have been reported and suggest a checklist of items to be addressed in future studies

The authors invite comment on their guideline proposals, saying that "The objective of the consensus guidelines presented here is to guide surveys of medicine quality and how they are reported, and to provide a template for further development."

More information: Newton PN, Lee SJ, Goodman C, Fernández FM, Yeung S, et al. (2009) Guidelines for field surveys of the quality of medicines: A proposal. PLoS Med 6(3): e1000052. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000052 medicine.plosjournals.org/perl… journal.pmed.1000052

Source: Public Library of Science (news : web)

Explore further: Experts want restrictions on testosterone drug use (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How to treat fevers in African children up for debate

Jan 06, 2009

A new debate in the open access journal PLoS Medicine questions whether all African children with fever should be treated presumptively with antimalarial drugs, or if treatment should wait until laboratory tests confirm malari ...

Recommended for you

Experts want restrictions on testosterone drug use (Update)

6 hours ago

Federal health experts said Wednesday there is little evidence that testosterone-boosting drugs are effective for treating common signs of aging in men and that their use should be narrowed to exclude millions of Americans ...

Big cities take aim at prescription painkillers

Sep 16, 2014

Some of the nation's largest cities are ratcheting up their criticism of prescription painkillers, blaming the industry for a wave of addiction and overdoses that have ravaged their communities and busted local budgets.

World Health Organization policy improves use of medicines

Sep 16, 2014

In this issue of PLOS Medicine, Kathleen Holloway from WHO and David Henry (University of Toronto, Canada) evaluated data on reported adherence to WHO essential medicines practices and measures of quality use of medicines from 5 ...

User comments : 0