Access to healthcare and essential quality medicines and pharmaceutical products
is critical for the Caribbean population's well-being and optimal health.
Recently, the Drug Testing Laboratory (DTL) of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), received international accreditation for laboratory testing services. Conformity with the ISO17025:2005 standard marks a significant endorsement for the Agency’s capabilities to test the quality control of pharmaceutical finished products such as capsules, tablets, creams, ointments, suspensions, syrups, and lotions.
The accreditation certificate was granted to CARPHA-DTL by the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) at a ceremony which took place at CARPHA-DTL offices.
As Jamaica’s national accreditation body, JANAAC supports the effective development of the Jamaican economy by providing Conformity Assessment Bodies such as testing laboratories with internationally recognized accreditation services thereby fostering global confidence and facilitating trade between Jamaica and its regional and international partners.
In his welcome remarks, Chairman of JANAAC Mr. Simon Roberts congratulated CARPHA on its achievement and stated that “CARPHA is now inducted into the “accreditation hall of fame” as our first accredited laboratory in the pharmaceutical field. The accreditation certificate signifies that you’ve not only received recognition from JANAAC, but by extension the signatories to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC-MRA).”
“The certification brings immense benefits to CARPHA. The status as an accredited laboratory distinguishes CARPHA-DTL from other pharmaceutical quality control facilities by providing the highest quality of service to Member States,” said Dr C. James Hospedales, CARPHA Executive Director. He went on to say “CARPHA-DTL plays a critical role in providing valuable information that informs decision making and influence policy to strengthen health systems thereby promoting health lives and wellbeing.”
Ms Sonia Thomas-Gordon, Acting Head, CARPHA-DTL stated “This is a momentous occasion. Pursuing accreditation shows the Agency’s commitment to providing the highest levels of quality testing to clients, and the same high level of quality in business practices. Several agencies have contributed to the development of the laboratory and to the success of the accreditation process. CARPHA DTL is extremely grateful for the technical and financial assistance provided by key supporters such as PAHO/WHO and CROSQ.”
In closing Ms Thomas-Gordon said, “We are committed to providing testing services of the highest standards to our clients and to continually improve our quality management system.”
The CARPHA-DTL will be introducing a new surveillance programme in 2018 where the laboratory will monitor medicines such as those used for the control of non-communicable diseases and other medicines. This initiative aligns with CARICOM’s strategy of advancing initiatives for health and wellness by ensuring access to safe, reliable medicines thereby improving the quality of life of the Region. Member States will have access to information to undertake evidence based approaches to enable warning, risk reduction and management of national public health risks.