Uganda will now be able to test a whole range of pharmaceutical drugs following the opening of a sh3-billion shillings modern National Drug Authority (NDA) microbiology laboratory at Mulago.
Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng launched the Pharmaceutical Microbiology Laboratory on Wednesday and said it was an important milestone towards safeguarding the public from consuming substandard pharmaceutical products.
“I had the opportuntiy to see intravenous fluids and drugs being checked. That makes me fill safe that whatever medicine goes into my body is safe and of good quality,” Aceng said. She added that the Ministry of Health will now task the National Drug Authority to ensure medicine testing and enforcement operations to ensure safe drugs are in place at all costs.
The lab expands NDA’s scope to test the quality and safety of non-sterile, sterile (including vaccines). This will save on testing costs the country has been incurring by using external labs, and will help improve turn-arounds for NDA market authorizations for drugs before they are used.
NDA is the main government agency that promotes and protects public health through effective regulation of human, animal medicines and healthcare products.
This lab will widen NDA scope to test the quality and safety of sterile products like vaccines which have for decades been tested through foreign WHO prequalified laboratories. This, NDA said, has been causing delays and increasing the cost of the drugs.