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Over 200 delegates travelled from more than 50 countries to attend the first ever conference on Medicine Quality and Public Health (MQPH 2018) in Oxford from 23-28 Sept. The conference, at Keble College, brought together experts in pharmacy, public health, chemistry, law, sociology, governance and ethics, from medicines regulatory authorities, academia, pharmaceutical industry, NGOs, and international organisations.

Celine Caillet, Serena Vickers, Muhammad Zaman, Richard Jahnke

The many conference partners included the US Pharmacopeia (USP), WHO, Wellcome and the Concept Foundation. The latest evidence on the prevention, detection and response to substandard, falsified and unregulated medicines was discussed along with inspiring collaborations and strategies to tackle this global challenge.

Opening speakers Dr Suzanne Hill, Director of the Essential Medicines and Health Products Department of the World Health Organization (WHO), Prof Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Ms Agnes Sitta Kijo, Acting Director General of the Tanzanian Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), and Prof Sir Nicholas White, Chairman of the MORU Tropical Health Network, called for collaborative efforts beyond geographic borders and sectoral divisions to more urgently intervene to address the serious public health problem of substandard and falsified medical products.

A brief Oxford Statement, under the auspices of the conference and the Let's Demand Medicines We Can Trust campaign, was released 14 Nov 2018. Prof Paul Newton, LOMWRU Director and Head of the IDDO Medicine Quality Group explained: “The conference consensus statement outlines the key opportunities and priority ‘next steps’ to tackle poor quality medicines. We hope to organize many more opportunities to collaborate and make a real difference to the lives of those affected by this unacceptable global health challenge.”

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