Promoting the Quality of Medicines Plus (PQM+)


Lab workers using equipment in Kazakhstan
     Lab workers using equipment in Kazakhstan. Photo: PQM+ program

Kazakhstan carries one of the world’s highest burdens of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). The government is addressing this challenge through its National TB Strategic Plan 2021-2025 and offers universal coverage of TB treatment. Building on the work of its predecessor program, PQM+ works closely with Kazakhstan’s national medicines regulatory authority, the National Centre for Expertise of Medicines, Medical Devices, and Medical Equipment (NCEM), to support two regional quality control laboratories to strengthen their quality management systems and capacity to comply with WHO prequalification standards.

In January 2020, the World Health Organization prequalified the Karaganda medicines quality control laboratories (MCQLs). The Karaganda MCQL is the first WHO-prequalified laboratory in Central Asia. The Almaty MQCL is progressing toward WHO prequalification with PQM+ technical assistance. PQM+ also supported the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing technical assistance to the NCEM in strengthening Lot Release function and strengthen their MQCL capacity in vaccine testing. PQM+ has recently initiated activities to strengthen Kazakhstan’s response to infectious diseases threats, including addressing AMR, by ensuring the quality of antimicrobials and other medical products as well as provide technical assistance to diversify the pharmaceutical supply chain in Asia by strengthening local capacities in competitive manufacturing, procurement, governance and regulatory systems, technology, and workforce development.

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