Sustainable Medicines in Africa

The Biotechnology Innovation and Regulatory Science (BIRS) Center at Purdue University has established Sustainable Medicines in Africa (SMA) initiative that is a collaborative effort between Purdue University and the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology. The goals of this program are, in many ways, similar to the Gates Foundation in that the goal of the SMA program is to enable manufacture of quality medicines in Africa for Africans.  These goals, once attained, will help ensure that every life is of equal value by eliminating medical inequality. The 10 year old BIRS program has educated over 100 African scientists at the certificate level and over 40 African scientists at the MS level. The MS degree was awarded by Purdue University in the area of Biotechnology Innovation and Regulatory Science and focuses on all aspects of drug quality and manufacturing. Merck Foundation supported the MS degree program and Merck continues to strongly support the current program with in-kind support by sending 1 or 2 instructors to each session and funding two rounds of Clark Fellows. The program was also supported by UNIDO.

This project is aimed at capacity building through the BIRS program. Special emphasis is placed on:

(1) Expanding the BIRS capacity to build technical competency among African scientists specifically related to drug substance expertise;

(2) Expanding the emphasis on joint and collaborative reviews and harmonization as a means of accelerating the introduction of new drugs in Africa;

(3) Strengthening the current BIRS program;

(4) Strengthening the student projects to increase the likelihood that these projects and outcomes will have a lasting effect on medicines in Africa; and

(5) Strengthenening and further assuring the sustainability of education on industrial pharmacy and manufacturing.

With support from our Gates Team, we have a strong group of industry leaders serving as guest lecturers and adjunct faculty to ensure quality materials and assessments for our cohort of students.

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