ASIDE from being the only pharmaceutical research center in the Philippines recognized by pharmaceutical innovator based in the United States, the UST Center for Drug Research, Evaluation and Studies (UST-Cedres) is now the lead agency for bioavailability and bioequivalence studies in the entire Asian continent.

As lead agency, the Cedres will set the standards for bioavailability and bioequivalence studies which test for therapeutic correspondence between generic and reference drugs before these are made available for public consumption.

Health Secretary Dr. Francisco Duque III said the Cedres’ accomplishment in the field of research is a first in the Philippine pharmaceutical industry.

“I’m proud of what the Cedres has accomplished,” Duque told the Varsitarian during an on-spot facility check last April 4. “This is certainly complementary to the objectives of the Department of Health and the Bureau of Food and Drugs.”

In a conference in Bangkok, Thailand last March 22 to 25, the Cedres, co-established and co-owned by the University and Chemfields, Inc. since 2004, was recognized as the first pharmaceutical research center in the Philippines to be recognized by the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP).

According to Francisco Jacinto, a member of the Cedres board of directors, the center’s “affordable” research rates are among the lowest in the world, making the Cedres a convenient provider for companies needing bioavailability and bioequivalence studies.

However, Duque said the Cedres has to keep up with the standards of local and international pharmaceutical agencies to maintain the status.

“It’s quite an unprecedented feat,” said Duque, an alumnus of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

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“But the Cedres has to link its usefulness and practicality to the quality requirements of (the country’s) pharmaceutical needs.”

The Cedres is one of the only three pharmaceutical research centers recognized by the USP in Asia.

The other two research centers, both found in Thailand, are the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Mahidol University and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Chulalongkorn University. Kris P. Bayos

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