Putting the “Quality” into Maternal Health Medicines


“Oxytocin doesn’t prevent PPH.  Quality oxytocin does.”

This is a comment made recently by Dr Patrick Lukulay of United States Pharmacopeial Convention while presenting concerning data on the widespread, poor quality of oxytocin samples obtained in LMICs. Women all over the world still can’t be sure that the medicines that are essential to saving their lives during childbirth will actually do the job because of the lack of understanding of the need for quality medicines and what quality means in terms of maternal health medicines.Lack of knowledge about quality of maternal health medicines contributes to ongoing, preventable maternal mortality. This webinar will shed light on why we need to focus on the quality of maternal health medicines and what we mean when we talk about quality and what is involved in ensuring that the medicines a woman receives around the time of childbirth are of sufficiently high quality that they actually work.

The presenters will explain what is involved in manufacturing, assessing and distributing a quality medicine, including what it takes to get a medicine approved by the WHO Prequalification program and available in low income countries. Presenters:

Fabienne Bochaton and Fiona Theunissen work for the Access to Maternal Health team at Concept Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in Geneva working towards a world where women and men have equitable access to essential affordable quality maternal and reproductive healthcare products.

Henk den Besten is a pharmaceuticals supply chain expert. Henk has been involved in the setting up of local supply chain solutions, strategic procurement activities, including sourcing of essential drugs, meeting USG quality requirements in India, China and other countries and mapping the supply chain of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API’s).  He has undertaken missions for the World Health Organization, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Netherlands, World Bank, Danida, The Global Fund and others. From 1980 – 2005, Henk was Managing Director of IDA Foundation ianbd i+ Solutions in the Netherlands, Senior Supply Chain advisor at SCMS is now working on Access to Drugs Issues through CoachMan Consultancy.

Rohini Karde from Macleods Pharmaceuticals and Nancy Schoemaker from The Medical Export Group (MEG), with whom Henk has recently worked on maternal and child health commodities, will discuss experiences from activities they have undertaken to increase access in country to quality pharmaceutical products.

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