The National Tuberculosis (TB) Program of Directly Transmitted Disease Prevention and Control Directorate (P2PML) of Ministry of Health (MoH) symbolically handed over new laboratory equipment and basic supplies to the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (NA-DFC, or nationally known as BPOM) on Tuesday, 30 August 2016, at BPOM’s headquarters in Jakarta.

The procurement of laboratory equipment and supplies worth around 1.6 million USD—managed by the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) with funding from the Global Fund—aims to strengthen the capacity of BPOM’s laboratories for testing TB medicines. The handover from MoH as the official beneficiary of Global Fund’s TB grant to BPOM as the implementing agency will be followed by distribution to 10 (or 12?) provincial BPOM laboratories across Indonesia.

USP has strived to support BPOM to ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of essential medicines in Indonesia since 2009, through its partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the implementation of the Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) program Indonesia. Since 2015, USP has negotiated a reprogramming of Global Fund’s grant for the National TB Program of the MoH, in order to support BPOM laboratories and building the capacity for testing medicines. This collaboration between USP and Global Fund represents a new model for utilizing Global Fund project funds from MoH to support BPOM, and also represents a unique opportunity for USP and USAID to leverage international donor funds to support BPOM’s overall mission.

Christopher Raymond, Chief of Party of USP PQM Indonesia, opened the symbolic handover ceremony, which was attended by representatives from MoH, BPOM, and USP. “The new Permenkes (Regulation of the Minister of Health) number 33 of 2016, which supports the collaboration on sampling and testing in government facilities, is a very important evolution in how the collaboration between MoH and BPOM will be moving forward. So, we just want to recognize that this is an important component of the overall Quality Assurance system in Indonesia... to facilitate high quality testing at BPOM,” he said.

Acting on behalf of Dr. Wiendra Waworuntu, M. Kes, Director of P2PML, Dr. Siti Nadia Tarmidzi, M. Epid, Head of HIV National Program, symbolically handed over the equipment and supplies to Drs. T. Bahdar Johan H., Apt., M.Pharm, the Deputy of Theurapeutic Products and Narcotics, Psychotropic, and Addictive Substance Control of BPOM.

“The procurement of the equipment and supplies is part of Global Fund’s support in the monitoring of TB Medicines. As one of the success indicators is good quality TB medicines, I would like to ask for support and assistance from our colleagues at BPOM. This is a collaboration between the Ministry of Health’s TB National Program with BPOM. We hope that these additional equipment and supplies will strengthen our capacity in the quality control and assurance of TB medicines,” said Dr. Siti Nadia Tarmidzi, M. Epid in her remark.

“It is a timely donation, as we have just received an order from the President of Indonesia to revitalize the capacity of the laboratories. Labs are the backbone of BPOM, so with Global Fund’s donation, we can have the equipment we need for TB medicines, and hopefully for HIV/AIDS and vaccines as well in the future. This is also a good opportunity for the MoH and BPOM to work together,” said Drs. T. Bahdar Johan H., Apt., M.Pharm, at the end of the ceremony.

A second follow-up project—a $2 million-contract between USP and GF—supporting additional lab equipment and supplies for 10 provincial laboratories will commence later this year. In addition to that, USP will donate a large amount of USP reference standards for TB and HIV medicines to support this project. “USP will be coming in this support with about 250,0000 USD worth of USP reference standards, so that the labs can test within USP reference standards and hopefully get satisfactory results. We’re committed in this until the end of our project in 2019, and hopefully beyond,” Christopher Raymond stated firmly during the ceremony.

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