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IOM report calls for changes to improve global drug quality

February 13, 2013

A report released today by the Institute of Medicine calls for global agreement on an international code of practice on drug quality. "Given the international nature of modern manufacturing and trade, every nation has a stake and a role to play in ensuring the production and sale of high-quality medications," said committee chair Lawrence Gostin, director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights in Washington, D.C. "…We're calling on WHO, in collaboration with regulators, companies and civil society worldwide, to adopt a global code of practice, build national regulatory capabilities, and promote international cooperation." The report also recommends establishing a mandatory drug tracking system and tightening the licensing requirements on medication wholesalers in the United States. All state licensing boards should license only wholesalers and distributors that meet the accreditation standards of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, and should collaborate with the Food and Drug Administration to create a public database where states should report violations and license suspensions and cancellations, the authors said.