Liberia: Fighting Substandard Medicines


The Challenge

PQM began providing technical assistance to Liberia in 2009, at which time the country had no medicines regulatory authority or systems in place to ensure the quality of medicines entering the country. Hence, the country was a safe haven for poor-quality medicines until 2010, when PQM assisted Liberia to establish a medicines regulatory authority. 

Our Strategy

In FY 2016, PQM helped expand Liberia’s medicines quality monitoring activities and supported the medicines regulatory authority’s capacity to conduct regulatory actions. As a means of further bolstering in-country capacity, PQM procured Minilabs™ to assist with medicines quality monitoring activities at sentinel sites, ports of entry, and other places to be identified by the National Malaria Control Program and the medicines regulatory authority. In one regulatory activity, a team comprising inspectors from the medicines regulatory authority, a PQM consultant, a county pharmacist, representatives from the Liberian National Police, and a local law enforcement official conducted a 10-day cross-country regulatory activity.


In total, 40 new regulatory actions were taken, including the confiscation of poor-quality antimalarial medicines (quinine and amodiaquine monotherapy) from Monrovia and Nimba. A team, acting on Minilab™ and compendial test results from previous rounds of medicine quality monitoring, removed several poor-quality medicines from a number of medicine shops and public markets. The team also seized the opportunity to provide updates to stakeholders about poor-quality medicines in circulation.