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NIPRD gets international accreditation for drug development


The Acting Director General, NIPRD, Prof. Kunle Olobayo

The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) has been granted the ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation with certification by the United States (U.S) based ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board for the research and development of drugs, food, cosmetics, agricultural and herbal products.

The Acting Director General, NIPRD, Prof. Kunle Olobayo who disclosed this at the official presentation of the certificate in Abuja, said the institute is the first academic based institution in West Africa to get the accreditation, adding that the laboratory’s quality control tests will now be accepted worldwide, thus widening international markets for key Nigerian goods. “Through more efficient pharmaceutical testing, Nigeria is improving people’s health throughout the country by increasing their access to quality-assured medicines,” he said.

Olobayo, who noted that with the accreditation, which is based on laboratory standards developed jointly by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the NIPRD has joined the Ivy League of global laboratories, signifying it meets rigorous international standards for testing medicines, food, cosmetics, agricultural products, and herbal products.

Established in 1987 as a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and transferred to the Federal Ministry of Health in 2001, NIPRD primary objective includes, developing drugs, biological products, and pharmaceutical raw materials, as well as conducting quality-assurance tests as part of its research mandate for locally-manufactured medicines and developing specifications for the production of such commodities.

According to Olobayo, the NIPRD’s ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, which was officially granted on June 15, 2018 explicitly applies to the capacity to conduct six procedures that comprise “quality-assurance testing: high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), which is used to separate, identify, and quantify each component in a product; pH testing, which measures acidity or alkalinity; loss on drying, which determines moisture content; UV-visible spectrophotometry, which ascertains product stability; dissolution testing, which detects physical changes in active pharmaceutical ingredients; and uniformity of dosage unit testing, which ensures the consistency of a medicine’s contents in dosage forms like tablets and capsules.”

Also speaking, the Nigeria Chief of Party for the Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) program, Dr. Chimezie Anyakora, noted that NIPRD is responsible for training other laboratories and could now support peer institutions in Nigeria desiring to attain the ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation.

“They must also continue to maintain their own accreditation, which is subject to a recertification assessment every two years,” he said Anyakora, who confirmed PQM’s continued support and technical assistant, urged NIPRD to develop a sustainability plan, which he said is one of the most important next steps in this ongoing process

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Kunle OlobayoNIPRD
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