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[e-drug] EPN meeting Tubingen Germany May 2016 - MEDS and Albert Petersen

E-DRUG: EPN meeting Tubingen Germany May 2016 - MEDS and Albert Petersen
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Hi E-Druggers,

Last month I had the very rewarding experience of attending the biennial 
meeting of the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network 
(http://www.epnetwork.org/en/). This is always a great meeting to attend as I 
always learn something from people who are doing exciting work and who 
generally do not publicize their success. I always feel that they hide their 
light under a bucket! There were presentations and discussions about 
Anti-microbial resistance and Non Communicable Diseases which were the two 
themes of the meeting.

For me the most impressive presentation of the meeting was that by Paschal 
Manyuru the CEO of MEDS the procurement and supply organization based in 
Nairobi. They were the first NGO to have a WHO prequalified laboratory.

 They have published his slides at
http://meds.or.ke/images/downloads/EPNFORUM2016.pdf 

This is a large file with some fascinating graphics. 
Slide 18 shows the amazing results they have achieved in quality assurance of 
their products. The time series chart shows how MEDS which tests every product 
they purchase has reduced the product failure rate from about 13% in 1997 to 
zero failure rate in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015. 

They compare their results with the results from external customers which shows 
a fall from about 35% to about 5% in 2015.

In addition to the poster presentations, there was an opportunity to celebrate 
30 years of EPN's existence and the retirement as EPN Board chairman of Albert 
Petersen the Head of Pharmaceutical Aid Department at Difaem which is the 
German Institute for Medical Mission. 

It was fascinating to hear the many EPN members talk about how Albert has 
changed their organizations by giving them confidence to do more. He is clearly 
an unsung hero who deserves our appreciation. 

See http://www.epnetwork.org/newsite/en/about-us-8/item/412-albert-petersen)

I always come away from these meetings impressed by the participants and far 
more hopeful than I usually am that access to essential medicines can occur in 
rural African countries.

Other E-Druggers like Wilbert Bannenberg were there. 
I would like to hear their reflections.

Richard Laing
Professor International Health
Boston University School of Public Health,
801 Massachusetts Avenue Boston MA 02118
Tel 617 414 1445 (Office) 617 435 7860 (Mobile)
http://www.bu.edu/pharm/the-program/
E mail richardl@bu.edu

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