More than 150 researchers, advocates and policymakers from around the world have issued an urgent call to improve access to quality-assured medical products.
Published today in The Lancet Global Health, the ‘Oxford Statement - A Call for Global Access to Quality-Assured Medical Products’ is the outcome of the first International Conference on Medicine Quality & Public Health, where participants from across sectors discussed strategies for protecting the quality of medical products globally.
Poor-quality medical products fall into two categories: substandard or falsified. Substandard products fail to meet quality standards or specifications. Falsified products deliberately or fraudulently misrepresent their identity, composition or source. Both are a global problem but have the greatest impact on the poorest and most vulnerable populations.
This issue also impacts nearly all of the world’s health priorities. From eliminating infectious diseases, to achieving universal health coverage, public health efforts depend on medical products being safe and effective when they reach patients.
Oxford Saïd Research Fellow, Bernard Naughton, who co-authored the statement, remarks that the call reflects growing momentum in advocating for access to safe, quality medical products.
‘Put simply this call to action solidifies consensus on what is required to improve the management of poor-quality medicine’
The statement outlines four key interventions to ensure universal access to quality medical products, including multidisciplinary research to understand the impact and solutions to the problem, and increased investments to strengthen supply chains and regulatory systems.
Dr Naughton concludes: 'Falsified medicine is a "Wicked problem." Managing this problem requires the combined efforts of pharma companies, academia, governments, healthcare practitioners and the public. This call to action provides a common stakeholder voice which I hope can springboard further action against poor quality medicine.’