USAID & USP: Partners in Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance

Since 1992, USAID and USP have collaborated through several cooperative agreements to help address critical issues related to access to medicines information and quality. These initiatives, which started with the Rational Pharmaceutical Management (RPM) project, and then the Drug Quality and Information (DQI) program, were the predecessors to the current initiative, the Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) program.

  • 1992-2000: Rational Pharmaceutical Management (RPM) project
  • 2000-2008: Drug Quality and Information (DQI) program
  • 2009-2019: Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) program

The goal of the earliest initiative, the RPM Project, was to help improve the efficiency, equity, and quality of drug management in developing countries by promoting improvements in the allocation and use of resources in pharmaceutical systems and clinical practice. USAID designed RPM on the premise that significant improvements in drug availability and use, and substantial cost savings, could be realized through a systematic program of targeted short-term technical assistance.  

The subsequent initiative, the USP Drug Quality and Information program, focused on building local capacity in medicines quality assurance and quality control, and in medicines information development and dissemination to improve drug quality and the appropriate use of drugs. Working cooperatively with national governments and health professionals in regions of USAID intervention, USP DQI facilitated and strengthened drug quality systems and information access. Specifically, the program developed training programs for medicine testing methods, drug registration procedures, and GMP compliance, and established regional drug information centers.  

The current program, PQM, builds on the quality assurance work undertaken by DQI, but also plays a role in supporting medicines quality assurance activities for other USAID supported programs. PQM’s goal is to help assure the quality, safety, and efficacy of medicines of relevance to USAID health programs. The program provides technical assistance to strengthen medicines regulatory authorities and quality assurance systems, and supports manufacturing of quality-assured priority essential medicines for malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, and maternal and child health.  

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