Liberia: LMHRA Trains & Licensed 15 QPPV Practitioners


(Monrovia-January 17, 2023): To ensure the safety and monitoring of medicines on the  Liberian market, thereby preventing adverse drug reactions for the citizenry; the Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) has trained and licensed Fifteen Qualified Persons for Pharmacovigilance (QPPV) to serve as a point of contacts for 15 Marketing Authorization Holders (MAHs) or Pharmaceutical Importers.

At the program marking the official Certification and Licensing of Cycle-One of the QPPV graduates; held Friday, January 13, 2023, at the United States Pharmacopeia-Liberia Office in Monrovia, the Managing Director of the LMHRA, Pharmacist Keturah C. Smith-Chineh, said the program is geared towards training pharmacists who have the requisite qualifications to prevent the importation of substandard and falsified medicines from entering the country.

According to her, the QPPV program seeks to train pharmacists, who have the requisite professions to ensure the safety-monitoring of medicines and health products entering the country.

“We anticipate that this training, will ease some of the bad medicines that we see on our markets because definitely manufacturers will be told that their products are being monitored, thereby making them very careful as to how they manufactured these medicines and health products,” she explained.

She continued: “So the mandate of the LMHRA is to ensure that all medicines in circulation are safe, efficacious, and of good quality. So as part of it being safe, we have to monitor these medicines.”

Managing Director Smith-Chineh further emphasized that the graduates will work with the local agents and marketing authorization holders to monitor medicines and health products being imported into the country.

The LMHRA boss said it is necessary to track the adverse reaction of drugs and also detect the products’ unwanted effects. She added that manufacturers will be made to understand that their products are being monitored to ensure that they carefully produced these medicines and health products before putting them on the market.

She encouraged the graduates to do their best to adequately monitor the products of these various manufacturers to ensure the safety of the consumers of these medical products.

Giving the overview of the program, the Manager for Clinical Trials at the LMHRA, Pharmacist, Dr. Juwe Kercula, noted that the QPPV is a unique program established by international best practices around the world, where people are trained and certificated to monitor the safety of pharmaceutical products around the world.

According to him, it is a breakthrough that Liberia has decided to implement similar initiatives to be on par with her West African counterparts and other countries worldwide that are also implementing similar programs.

“So it is a unique program where manufacturers will interact with their QPPV or local agents who will monitor their products on the Liberian market as a means of buttressing the mandate of the LMHRA,” he said.

Presenting the graduates, the Director of Pharmacovigilance & Clinical Trials at the LMHRA, Pharmacist Dr. James D.K. Goteh, said to ensure the safety of medicines, there is a need for practitioners to always be on the alert.

“We have to monitor the safety of medicines every day because medicines can react on anyone at any time. So that’s why it is very good to get data on the use of medication daily. So with these types of training, the LMHRA will be able to gather more data on the use of medication that will further inform the manufacturers,” Dr. Goteh noted.

In remarks, the former Board Chairman of the Liberia Pharmacy Board, Dr. Joseph S. Weah, appreciated the management of the LMHRA for such training. According to him, pharmacists don’t have to be at the School of Pharmacy to put out such a program. So he called on the graduates to continue learning to be on par with their colleagues in other parts of the world.

Making remarks on behalf of the graduates, Dr. Jah Cisco, QPPV for Emzor Pharmaceuticals, applauded the LMHRA for such great stride, and also admonished the authority not to forget these QPPV graduates; rather, their capacities should be enhanced by monitoring and evaluating their activities.

A QPPV practitioner is an individual named by the marketing authorization holder and approved by the authority, as the person responsible for ensuring that the company or (MAH) meets its legal obligations in the LMHRA Act as required for monitoring the safety of medicines and health products marketed in Liberia.

Those who graduated recently as QPPV licensed holders are: Pharmacist Dr. Akoi Bazzie, Pharmacist Teedoh E. Beyslow, Sr., Pharmacist Dr. Ambrose D. Fatorma, Pharmacist Patricia Quaye-Freeman, Pharmacist Paul D.Y Higgins, and Pharmacist Lamin G. Kaba.

Others were: Pharmacist Suapolor Wealar, Pharmacist John F. Seville, Pharmacist William Sulonteh, and Pharmacist Dr. Jah Cisco.

The LMHRA is the statutory arm of the Government of Liberia with the responsibility to ensure that all medicines and health products circulating the borders of Liberia are safe and efficacious. The LMHRA was established based on provisions of the National Drug Policy for the establishment of a Medicines Regulatory Authority to enact and update medicines regulations to regulate the Pharmaceutical Sector and the establishment of a national quality control laboratory under the Authority. The Authority was officially established on 29 September 2010.