PACN webinars - Poor quality medicines & Sub-Saharan Africa

30 November - 1 December 2020, online, United Kingdom


The Pan Africa Chemistry Network (PACN) Congress is the Royal Society of Chemistry’s flagship annual event for the African chemical sciences community. In 2020, the Congress is moving online and will feature two webinars on the theme of Poor-Quality medicines & Sub-Saharan Africa.

A recent Study on the Public Health and Socioeconomic Impact of Substandard and Falsified Medical Products by the World Health Organisation has shown that ~10% of medical products circulating in low-income and middle-income countries are either substandard or falsified, leading to increased morbidity and mortality, adverse drug reactions, economic losses and diminished public confidence in health systems.  This serious public health problem has been compounded by COVID-19.

Both webinars will give participants the opportunity to listen to leading international experts from both academia and industry, including Africa based experts, shine a spotlight on this global problem.  They will discuss the reality of combatting poor quality medicines in Africa and explore the role the chemical sciences can play in driving and implementing innovative, effective and sustainable chemical solutions to this global issue. There will also be an opportunity at the end of both seminars for participants to ask questions.

Both webinars are free to attend but you must regsiter in advance.  We look forward to welcoming you to the discussion.


Webinar 1 - 30/11/20, 11am (UK Time)
Speakers: Professor Paul Newton, Professor Wilson Eruhn, Adefunke Evbodaghe

The reality of combatting poor quality medicines in Africa - global trends & industry response

In the first webinar we will explore the current global situation on the widespread problem of poor-quality medicines and the impact COVID-19 is having on this serious health problem.  Experts will delve into what is a poor-quality medicine, how common are they and who is most affected.  We will then take a closer look at the reality of combating poor quality medicines in Africa, highlighting local and international efforts, and explore how a multi-national company such as GSK is responding to this problem.

Webinar 2 - 1/12/20, 11am (UK time)
Speakers: Dr Harparkash Kaur, Professor Sunday Okeniyi, David Izuogu and Craig Stobie

Detecting & distinguishing poor-quality medicines/analytical approaches & new technologies

In the second seminar our experts will focus on the vital role the chemical science can play in the detection of poor-quality medicines and in the advancement and discovery of new technologies. There will be an emphasis on the analytical techniques available and the challenges faced, plus a look at new technologies involving advanced molecular tags to identify counterfeits. Industry leader Domino will then share how as a business they are continually developing their anti-counterfeiting coding and printing technologies.

Wilson O. Erhun, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria

Dr. Wilson O. Erhun is a Professor of Pharmacy Administration and immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University. He was the Foundation Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Nigeria. He has served as Secretary General, West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists(WAPCP) and Secretary of the Drug Advisory Council with responsibility for the harmonization of the laws and regulations governing the manufacture, registration and movement of drugs within the West African region. He was the first Executive Secretary, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and was a Consultant to Nigeria Essential Medicines programme for many years.  Prof. Erhun is currently the Chairman, Faculty of Social and Administrative Pharmacy, WAPCP. He is a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Fellow of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy and Fellow of the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists. He is the 2019 recipient of the May & Baker award for professional service in Pharmacy in Nigeria.

Adefunke Evbodaghe, Senior Counsel, Anti-Counterfeiting EMEA, GSK, United Kingdom

Adefunke Evbodaghe obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Lagos in 2004 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2005. Adefunke has an LLM with specialization in International Law and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK).
She started her professional career as an associate for different law firms working within the Shipping & Litigation department. Later she was assigned to the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law where she served as the Director of Administration from September 2008 to July 2009.  Adefunke worked also for corporate groups like Silverbird Group and Guiness Nigeria Plc in Nigeria and Ghana. In 2017 took appointment at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc (GSK) as a Secretary/Legal/Compliance Services Manager and in 2018 she moved to the United Kingdom as the Senior Counsel, Anti-Counterfeiting for the Europe Middle- East and Africa.
Adefunke was recognized by the ESQ Nigerian Legal Awards in 2016 as one of the 40 lawyers under 40 paving ways in the Nigerian Legal Industry. She also bagged an award as one of the 7 outstanding young professionals in the Nigerian legal industry at the same award.
She was again recognized as one of the 40 rising stars in the Nigerian legal industry by the ESQ Nigerian legal awards in 2018. In 2019, she received the Top Legal/ IP Legal Awards by the IPR Gorilla.
She is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association; Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law; International Bar Association; Association of Corporate Counsel, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and Anti-Counterfeiting Collaboration.

Paul Newton, Oxford University, United Kingdom

Paul Newton is an infectious disease doctor and Professor of Tropical Medicine in the Mahidol-Oxford Research Unit (MORU) and the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO), Centre for Tropical Medicine & Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford University.  With Lao colleagues he founded the Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit (LOMWRU) within Mahosot Hospital, Vientiane, Lao PDR and was director 1999-2019, before moving to Oxford to set up the Medicine Quality Research Group there.  They developed a program of medicine quality research, to answer key questions on the epidemiology, impact and detection of substandard and falsified medical products. They work with chemists to analyse samples of suspicious medicines, conduct innovative forensic analysis to understand falsified medicine origins and evaluate promising portable devices for empowering drug inspectors. They developed the first consensus guidelines on the design and reporting of medicine quality surveys, organised the first international conference and yearly short courses on Medicine Quality & Public Health.
He is Honorary Professor at the National University of Laos, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Adjunct Professor at Boston University.

David Izuogu, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

David is a first-class graduate of Pure and Industrial Chemistry from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Hokkaido University, Japan. His masters project at Tohoku University, Japan was focused on single-molecule magnet and nanoscience of advanced metal complexes. He is an interdisciplinary researcher with a vast knowledge of nanoscience, molecular magnet, metal-organic framework and electronic structures of materials. He is currently a PhD scholar in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge where he is using computational techniques to investigate molecular designs with advantages for the realisation of single-molecule magnets for quantum information processing, spintronics and in medical imaging.

In addition to David’s academic activities, he is engaged with entrepreneurial activities like building a start-up company and founding a charity – the Africa of Our Dream Initiative (AODI) through which he has empowered African youths through educational opportunities. He has won numerous academic, leadership, social and enterprise awards including the University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor Social Impact Award and the Trinity-Bradfield Prize awarded to his team on the technology they are developing to combat counterfeit products across industries like fashion, pharmaceuticals, artworks, semiconductors among others using spectroscopy, organic chemistry and computational resources.

His passion for the African project has seen him use AODI to lead several research partnerships, training and collaborations under the Partner Africa Project (PAP). 

Harparkash Kaur, The London School of Hygeine & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), United Kingdom

Research interests: Analytical techniques, analytical method development, assessing quality of tools used in malaria control (medicines and bed nets), stability of medicines.

Dr Harparkash Kaur is a chemist by training and started her research career synthesising compounds called spin traps to study reactions postulated to involve the participation of free radicals. She subsequently moved on to developing laboratory based analytical techniques such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to study biological systems whilst investigating a treatment used to treat surface cancerous tumours. She also developed HPLC based methods applicable to varying fields of research such as determining the levels of free radicals in disease state and levels of endogenous antioxidants.

Harparkash joined LSHTM in 2001 as a lecturer and set up the bioanalytical laboratory equipped with HPLC and a Liquid Chromatography / Mass Spectrometer here and an HPLC in a laboratory in Tanzania to strengthen malaria research there. Her present research has involved developing / validating HPLC and simple chemical methods to test the quality as well as levels of drugs in patient samples and measuring the levels of insecticides on treated nets and indoor residual spraying that are used as the major mode of intervention in the fight against malaria. The field friendly methods that she has devised for the detection of the first line antimalarial medicines (artemisnin derivatives) and for the detection of insecticides have two separate granted patents held by the LSHTM. The focus of her work recently been to determine the quality of medicines (antimalarials, antibiotics, antiretrovirals, antihypertensives) purchased following representative sampling approaches. She also measures levels of antimalarial drugs on filter paper adsorbed blood samples and amounts of insecticides on bed nets from several trials ongoing / planned in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sunday Olawale Okeniyi, PhD, FCSN, FICCON, CChem, MRSC (UK), MIPN, Atiba University Oyo, Nigeria

Professor Sunday Olawale Okeniyi is the President of Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN) and Vice Chancellor, Atiba University Oyo, Oyo State, Nigeria.  He holds a Bachelor of Science Honours degree (B. Sc. Hons) in Chemistry, an M. Sc. and Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he was a Federal Government of Nigeria Postgraduate Scholar. 
He is a Professor of Chemistry and has carried out extensive research in the area of pharmaceutical and medicinal analysis, organic and natural products chemistry and published over 80 refereed journal articles and several chapters in different books.

He is the recipient of the prestigious Sir Ahmadu Bello Sardauna Educational Merit Award of Excellence as an achiever par excellence, a bridge builder, and an icon of exemplary leadership in educational development awarded by the Association of Northern Nigerian Students (ANNS) and a distinguished recipient of the American Chemical Society – Nigeria International Chemical Sciences Chapter (ACS – NICS) Award.  Professor Okeniyi’s experience in leadership and administration is unparalleled. He is the first indigenous NDA professor to occupy the office of the Academy Provost, the great Premier Military University in Nigeria and Sub Saharan Africa.  

Professor Okeniyi is a Fellow of the Chemical Society of Nigeria (FCSN), a Fellow of the Institute of Chattered Chemists of Nigeria (FICCON), Member of the Institute of Planning, Nigeria (MIPN), Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom (FRSC (UK), Member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and Fellow Institute of the Management Consultant and a Chartered Management Consultant.

Craig Stobie, Director - Global Sector Management and Development
Domino, United Kingdom

Craig Stobie has worked for Domino for over 25 years in technical, operations, service and commercial roles. A graduate chemist and physicist, Craig has a broad view of the global legislative, sustainability, financial, and traceability pressures now faced by many companies. 

Craig leads a global team of commercial and technical specialists working in Domino’s sector business. These subject matter experts work with international companies, OEMs, technology providers and legislators on the implementation of serialisation, aggregation, Track & Trace, product identification and brand protection projects.

The Domino team were principal advisors to a number of global legislative initiatives including the pan European traceability schemes for prescribed medicines. 

Prior to joining Domino, Craig worked in refining and manufacturing environments in the speciality chemicals sector.

Both webinars are free to attend but you must regsiter in advance.  You will find the links to each webinar in your regsitration confirmation email.
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