DUBBED as “the country’s most advanced pharmaceutical research center,” the UST Center for Drug Research, Evaluation and Studies, Inc. (UST-Cedres) now aims for international recognition through improved drug testing and pharmaceutical standardization.

According to UST-Cedres operations manager Michael Lagdameo, the center, formerly the Bioavailability Unit that pioneered drug research in the country, hopes to ensure quality drugs for the country, allowing the Philippine pharmaceutical industry to compete internationally.

“Although the UST-Cedres was the (upgrade) of the first of such centers in Asia, we were seen as ‘lazy’ and ‘lax’ (in drug research),” Lagdameo told the Varsitarian. “We now want to be world-class to show that the country means business (in the field of drug research).”

Lagdameo said UST-Cedres, a joint venture of the University and the government firm, Chemfields Inc., now has state-of-the-art equipment after its renovation last November, besting the Mandaluyong-based United Laboratories and De La Salle University’s Angelo King Medical Research Center in Dasmariñas, Cavite.

UST-Cedres also works with the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD), in testing the efficacy of drugs to ensure “quality medicine” for Filipinos, Lagdameo added.

UST-Cedres occupies 1,020 square meters of the sixth floor of the UST Hospital-Clinical Division. UST Rector Fr. Tamerlane Lana, O.P., blessed the facilities with Vice-Rector Fr. Juan Ponce, O.P., with BFAD director Prof. Barbara Guiterrez and other dignitaries of the pharmaceutical industry attending its launch last Jan. 28.

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