20 years pharmaceutical drug safety “Made in Bremen”

Today exactly 20 years ago our institute, the formerly AMI Arzneimitteluntersuchungsinstitut-Nord GmbH, started its operations. On this occasion Bremens Senator for Science, Health and Consumer Protection,  Prof. Dr. Eva Quante-Brandt, paid InphA a visit.

Dr. Konrad Horn, Head of Institute and Managing Director, presented the tasks of the institute and its major achievements in the past 20 years, amongst others the testing of roughly 18,000 samples of medicinal and related products.

He highlighted some particularly spectacular cases, where the company’s testing results were crucial for patient health and safety. During the Heparin-Scandal in 2008 the company played a central role within Germany in providing information to the health supervisory authorities about contaminated and not contaminated batches of the product. In 2013 the test result provided by InphA led to the recall of a dietary supplement (Dorovit®) which was distributed also through German pharmacies and which turned out to contain undeclared analogues of the substance Sildenafil (Viagra®) (please click here for more detail). Furthermore Dr. Horn presented examples of falsified and counterfeit medicines uncovered by the staff of InphA when testing samples provided e.g. by customs.

Summarizing InphA’s experience gained in 20 years Dr. Horn concluded, that

  • drugs from German pharmacies are safe and of high quality
  • ordering pharmaceuticals online should only be done through registered online pharmacies carrying the EU-Logo for online sale of medicines (more information can be found here)
  • buying pharmaceuticals online elsewhere is associated with a high risk for the health of consumers

InphA’s contributions to pharmaceutical drug safety can according to Dr. Horn be summarized as follows:

  • providing evidence of the quality of medicines by independent testing
  • being a “fire brigade” in acute drug-scandals
  • having the technical competence to detect substances not declared on the product label
  • supporting health professionals as well as consumers by informing about falsified medicinal products and the risks of buying pharmaceuticals online

Dr. Quante-Brandt appreciated the comprehensive presentation and was impressed by the contributions of InphA to consumer protection.

In a tour of the laboratory Dr. Horn presented some of the techniques available at InphA.

pharmaceutical drug safety

The press release of the Senator for Science, Health and Consumer Protection can be found here (German only).