Dangerous Medicine: Problems with assuring quality and standards in UK higher education

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We support them in achieving and exceeding those standards, and take action when they are not met. Home Education How we quality assure. Medical licensing assessment. Prepare for the MLA.

Medical schools

Medical schools Medical schools must make sure their students get the education that meets our standards. Our role with medical schools. Quality assuring postgraduate bodies. Local education providers Trainees receive training at approved locations including, hospitals, clinics and GP surgeries. Tens of thousands of illegal websites sell unsafe and poor quality medicines online, while pretending to be legitimate pharmacies. Together, these websites form a multi-million dollar industry. For example, the Japanese Customs Office made over discoveries of falsified medicines and seized almost 80, drugs in , a majority of which were purchased online.

These websites are not just deceptive — they harm patients. Yet, few patients are aware of these dangers. Heightened public awareness and education are also critical. Governments and other stakeholders can develop robust awareness programs focused on the dangers of purchasing falsified medicines online and how to purchase safe medicines from lawful sources. Strong national regulatory frameworks are essential for ensuring safe, authentic medicines. These frameworks provide regulatory and enforcement authorities with the power they need to fight falsified medicines, which flourish where regulatory oversight and enforcement are weak.

The WHO has even spotlighted weak or nonexistent national regulatory systems as a key factor that encourages the falsification of medicines. Yet, many countries still need to create or strengthen a regulatory framework. This endangers all patients across the globe, not just those in countries with weak regulation, as falsified medicines can move across national boundaries, even in countries with more robust regulatory systems. IFPMA is playing a dynamic role in strengthening regulatory systems. The workshops gathered international and regional experts and leaders to promote an integrated approach to fighting falsified medicines, focusing discussions on best practices in the current regulatory landscape and initiatives.

Related topics included supply chain integrity; practices and technologies for prevention, detection, control and monitoring of falsified medicines; and collaboration within and between countries. These discussions tapped multi-stakeholder expertise through the participation of representatives from national regulatory authorities, regional intergovernmental organizations, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and private sectors. IFPMA members are also deeply engaged in this fight.

Companies are actively sharing expertise with regulatory and enforcement officials around the world, building awareness of the dangers of falsified medicines and establishing programs to dismantle organized crime networks involved in falsification. IFPMA members are also working closely with local authorities and international bodies to improve the identification of falsified medicines, collect information and monitor incidents of falsification and improve procedures for dealing with suspected counterfeiters.

Accurate data and research on falsified medicines is critical for designing effective responses. Therefore, global health policy stakeholders must build a fact-based infrastructure to understand the current and changing dynamics of this illicit activity, which threatens patient safety and public health. In this regard, the Pharmaceutical Security Institute PSI is a pioneering organization that is directly addressing the need for data on falsified medicines.

In , the Security Directors of innovative pharmaceutical manufacturers established PSI to collect, analyze and disseminate information about falsified, illegally diverted and stolen medicines. Established 10 years ago, this database includes 13, incidents of counterfeit, illegally diverted, and stolen medicines.

How we quality assure

PSI utilizes this data through multi-lingual, open source reviews, liaison contacts with authorities, and special studies that provide a broader picture of the extent and dangers of the falsified medicines market. The global health community must recognize preventing falsification as an integral element of efforts to protect public health worldwide. Prevention efforts are directly connected to improving access to authentic, effective, high-quality medicines.

However, improving prevention will require greater efforts to collect data on this public health threat. Two innovative studies provide insightful data and analysis on the global challenges of falsified medicines. The first was conducted by the University College London School of Pharmacy and the international research agency Matrix Insight, and it highlights opportunities for a better coordinated international response to falsified medicines. The report concludes that more investment is needed to both quantify falsification and provide early warning of potentially hazardous products when they are detected in legitimate supply chains.

The second report, from PSI and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, is a ground-breaking analysis of the penetration of counterfeit medicines into legitimate supply chains, published in April This includes suggested policy interventions, such as an international framework and the adoption of stricter national laws against drug counterfeiting. The research-based pharmaceutical industry is committed to contribute to securing the legitimate supply chain. Given the complexity of the supply chain, this is an essential, but arduous effort that requires an efficient, multi-faceted strategy.

Four types of technologies provide the foundation for authenticating medicines. These technologies are essential tools for securing the legitimate supply chain and ensuring the authenticity of medicines, though additional caution is always necessary. Explore these four technologies by clicking on the icons below. These technologies are visible to the naked eye, and require end-users and healthcare providers to be familiarised with them. This avoids the reuse of genuine components for falsified products. Another example are holograms, which typically incorporate images with the illusion of three-dimensional construction, thus combining three-layered security features.

These technologies can only be seen by specially equipped individuals. These often include using special inks for invisible printing, including ink visible only under ultraviolet light, infrared fluorescent pigments, and thermosensitive inks.

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These are a subset of covert technologies that require laboratory testing to assess authenticity. They include a wide range of methods, ranging from chemical taggants, detected only by highly specific reagent systems, to more complex protein and DNA taggants.

Dangerous Side Effects Of 11 Commonly Used Medications

These technologies utilize serialization, which assigns a unique identifier to an item like a pack, case or pallet. This identifier is stored in a database, enabling authenticity checks and product tracking. Many countries have already issued traceability regulations, though significant resources and investments are required for total implementation of track and trace models. These are: tamper-evident packaging; overt and covert authentication features; and a harmonized coding system to enhance product identification at the individual pack level.

These three principles must be applied throughout the legitimate supply chain to ensure greater product security and patient safety. Serialization and product verification systems are an increasingly common measure to protect the legitimate supply chain worldwide.

One of those realities is, of course, state education. It marked some kind of apotheosis when in July the appointment of Nicky Morgan Surbiton High as education secretary meant that every minister in her department at that time was privately educated. On social mobility, there has been in recent years an abundance of apparently sincere, well-meaning rhetoric, not least from our leading politicians.

We cannot accept that. The Social Mobility Commission, with cross-party representation, reported regularly on what government should do, but in December all sitting members resigned in frustration at the lack of policy action in response to their recommendations. The underlying reality of our private-school problem is stark.

Through a highly resourced combination of social exclusiveness and academic excellence, the private-school system has in our lifetimes powered an enduring cycle of privilege.


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It is hard to imagine a notable improvement in our social mobility while private schooling continues to play such an important role. Allowing, as Britain still does, an unfettered expenditure on high-quality education for only a small minority of the population condemns our society in seeming perpetuity to a damaging degree of social segregation and inequality. This hands-off approach to private schools has come to matter ever more, given over the past half-century the vastly increased importance in our society of educational credentials.

The reproduction of privilege is now tied in inextricably with the way we organise our formal education. Ineluctably, as we look ahead, the question of fairness returns.

If private schooling in Britain remains fundamentally unreconstructed, it will remain predominantly intended and destined for the advantage of the already privileged children who attend. We need to talk openly about this problem, and it is time to find some answers. We do not call for that, because we think it is better — and feasible — to harness for all the good qualities of private schools.

Feasible reforms are available; these do not require excessive commitments from the Treasury, but do require a political commitment. We are, however, under no illusions about the task of reform. All of which leaves the private schools almost uniquely well placed to make their case and protect their corner.

They have ready access to prominent public voices speaking on their behalf, especially in the House of Lords; they enjoy the passive support of the Church of England, which is distinctly reluctant to draw attention to the moral gulf between the aims of ancient founders and the socioeconomic realities of the present; and of course, they have no qualms about utilising all possible firepower, human as well as media and institutional, to block anything they find threatening.

Historically, those peculiarities have been various, but the most important — and pervasive in its consequences — has been social class.

dangerous medicine problems with assuring quality and standards in uk higher education Manual

Yet the fundamental social reality remains profoundly and obstinately otherwise. Britain is still a place where more often than not it matters crucially not only to whom one has been born, but where and in what circumstances one has grown up. It would be manifestly absurd to pin the blame entirely on the existence over the past few centuries of a flourishing private-school sector.