AGA IN ACTION
International Partnership for the establishment of quality control/quality assurance standards for veterinary drugs
24 July 2008. FAO, Rome. FAO and the International Federation for Animal Health (IFAH) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on "Cooperation in the establishment of standards and protocols for quality control of trypanocidal drugs". Mr J. Butler, Officer-in-Charge, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department signed the MoU on behalf of FAO while Mr G. Gunn, IFAH's President, signed for IFAH.
The problem of poor drug quality and/or counterfeit drugs is particularly pronounced in developing countries. The malpractice has severe implications for both animal health and food safety as it poses problems with unspecified and undesired chemicals and their residues in the food chain. In sub-Saharan Africa trypanocides, anthelmintics and insecticides/acaricides are currently the most used chemicals to mitigate and/or control disease impacts and reduce disease vector populations. Expenditures on trypanocides by smallholder livestock keepers in sub-Saharan Africa are valued US$35-45 million annually.
Previous work carried out by the Animal Production and Health Division (AGA) addressed the issue of trypanocidal drug management and led to the formulation of guidelines on strategies to counter the development of drug resistance (Publication "Drug management and parasite resistance in bovine trypanosomiasis in Africa", PAAT Technical and Scientific Series No. 1, 1998, FAO, Rome).
AGA in partnership with the Joint FAO/IAEA Division and IFAH cooperate to develop Standards and Protocols for Quality Control/Quality Assurance for trypanocidal drugs and other classes of veterinary drugs, including insecticides, acaricides and anthelmintics. The purpose is to provide validated protocols for drug quality control to the relevant regulatory bodies in countries where these drugs are in use. UNIDO, UNODC and Strathclyde University are officially associated with this line of AGA’s work.
The establishment of standards for drug quality and protocols for its assessment will allow pharmaceutical companies and laboratories, including local/small companies to market and compete on an equal basis following internationally agreed quality control/quality assurance protocols.
The above AGA activity was brought to the attention of the Codex Alimentarius Secretariat as related to the mandate of the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods. The Codex Secretariat evaluated the work on Quality Control/Quality Assurance Standards positively and suggested to include AGA's contribution to the revision of Codex Guidelines for the Establishment of a Regulatory Programme for the Control of Veterinary Drugs in Foods.