Pres. Weah Dedicates LMHRA Mini-Quality Control Lab

Ultra-modern QCL Expected Within A Year

President George Manneh Weah on May 13, 2022, dedicated Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) mini Quality Control Laboratory, King’s Farm, Careysburg, Montserrado County.

During the dedicatory ceremony, President Weah admonished the management of LMHRA to ensure the construction of the ultra-modern quality control laboratory within a year; pledging his administration’s fullest support towards the process.

However, President Weah noted that healthcare for Liberia’s citizens is an essential part of the government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), and emphasized the need for a high-functioning quality control lab. “It is vital to have a system for inspecting the quality of medical drugs on the Liberian market,” he said. “The commitment of my administration to a healthy nation remains unwavering.”

At the ceremony, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Promoting Quality Medicines Plus Program, United States Pharmacopeia,   donated equipment worth over US$300,000.00 to the Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory (LMHRA) Quality Control Laboratory; to enable the authority adequately test all medicines and health products entering the borders of Liberia.

The turning over ceremony was made in the presence of the President of the Republic of Liberia, George Manneh Weah.

The equipment turnover to the LMHRA by USAID includes spare parts for Waters Alliance HPLC, Waters Alliance HPLC, FTIR Equipment, Laboratory Assorted Glassware, HPLC Parts, Assorted Reference Standards, Non-Radioactive Chemicals, Agilent, Dissolution Test Apparatus, and other assorted laboratory supplies and consumables.

Making remarks at the program, the Director of USAID’s Office of Health, Jessica Healey, noted at the handover event that the equipment will enable Liberia to perform its own quality testing on medicines and other health products, rather than shipping samples out for testing in other countries. Ensuring that medicines meet established pharmaceutical standards, called compendial testing, will be more efficient and cost-effective in LMHRA’s own facility.

“Conducting compendial testing in Liberia now will have several benefits,” Healey said. “It will be cheaper and faster. It means the lab is gradually moving towards sustainability because they will be able to generate funds from fees charged for sample testing.”

Enhanced testing capacity at the LMHRA lab will enable it to conduct proficiency testing and perform other quality audits, making it eligible for accreditation by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Receiving the equipment, LMHRA Managing Director Pharmacist Keturah Smith-Chineh thanked USAID for the donation and the U.S. Government’s support to the LMHRA since its establishment. She noted that the lab is the foundation and pillar of all regulatory processes and ongoing support from USAID and PQM+ has included chemicals, reagents, equipment, training, and capacity building.

USAID’s PQM+ program, implemented by U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), provides technical assistance in more than 20 countries to assure the quality of medicines and health products. In Liberia, PQM+ works to increase LMHRA’s capacity to carry out regulatory functions to ensure the quality of medical products in country.

The May 13 donation included high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) equipment; devices to conduct a chemical process called Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR); assorted laboratory glassware, reference standards to guide the assessment of tested medicines; and other laboratory supplies and consumables.