Introducing the USP Quality Institute

Amid the backdrop of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), USP introduced its Quality Institute – a center that will conduct much-needed research to foster evidence-based policy decisions that can help increase the availability of quality-assured medicines worldwide.

In my conversations with different stakeholders, I have seen that everyone agrees, in principle, that medicines quality is important. However, when faced with the trade-offs that policy makers and influencers must deal with, it is difficult for them to quantify the costs and benefits of quality-assured medicines. Which is why, after much thought and consideration, we created the Quality Institute. USP is uniquely qualified to be the home of the Quality Institute, as the only global health organization of its kind focused on developing independent, transparent quality standards for medicines, dietary supplements and foods.

To help the Institute start on a high note, we were honored to have Her Excellency, Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius, deliver remarks at our event. Her Excellency is a research scientist and entrepreneur who deeply understand the importance of quality medicines and herbal supplements. In fact, she was elected to be a member of the USP Expert Committee on Herbal Medicines, she is a founding member of the Pan African Association of African Medicinal Plants, and she co-authored the first ever African Herbal Pharmacopoeia. In recognition of her contributions to quality, Her Excellency was awarded the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from USP’s Center for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training.

In her remarks, Her Excellency reiterated the importance of developing rigorous evidence on the impacts of quality medicines to promote fact-based policy decision making. For Mauritius and other countries around the globe, she noted that this will ultimately help to increase the availability of quality-assured medicines.

“A better world is one that establishes quality, sets the bar for scientific rigor and technological progress and epitomizes collaboration among industry, non-profit, governments and academia.”
- Her Excellency, Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius

This event was the culmination of nearly a year of work to shape and establish the USP Quality Institute, led by Michael Levy – VP, Global External Affairs and Head of the Quality Institute. Under his leadership, the Institute’s structure and governance were defined and key foundational elements were put in place, including an advisory group of global thought leaders and a research partnership with Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). The resulting Fellowship in Quality of Medical Products at GUMC, sponsored by USP, is initially focused on the link between medicines quality and the global threat posed by antimicrobial resistance, and will announce its first set of fellows shortly.

The link between medicines and antimicrobial resistance is an area of great interest for USP and was the subject of an expert panel discussion we cohosted immediately preceding this event.

Quality medicines are an essential part of the world’s foundation for health. By filling gaps in the understanding of the benefits and costs of quality-assured medicines, the USP Quality Institute can help strengthen this foundation and increase the availability of quality-assured medicines around the world. While this may seem like a lofty goal, I am confident that great strides can be made by working together. 

“I’m enthusiastic about the launch of the Quality Institute...It will facilitate the ability of countries like Mauritius to invest in smart and effective systems that foster quality medicines, support public health and economic development.”
Her Excellency, Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius

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