02 July 2020

Taylor’s University the First to be Endorsed as an APEC-LSIF Center of Excellence in Malaysia, Third in the World

The Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences at Taylor’s University was recently endorsed as a ‘Training Center of Excellence (CoE)’ by the Asia-Pacific Economic Committee (APEC) Life Sciences Innovation Forum (LSIF) for ‘Global Supply Chain Integrity’. The faculty is the first APEC CoE in Malaysia, and the third institution in the world specifically for the Global Supply Chain Integrity. The first two institutions are based in the United States (US).

This endorsement is a recognition by APEC for Taylor’s University’s expertise and capability in providing training and consultation in this important area, closely related to the provision of healthcare. This important milestone for the university, and nation, could not be achieved without the strong support from the Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia.

Emeritus Professor Dr. P.T. Thomas, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, Taylor’s University, was extremely pleased to receive this announcement, “The faculty is delighted to be recognised as a Training Center of Excellence – which demonstrates the calibre of the teaching staff at Taylor’s in addressing the global health challenges , and especially in maintaining an effective supply chain of medicines and other healthcare needs that are safe to the people in most need of them.”

The Taylor’s APEC LSIF Center of Excellence for Supply Chain Integrity, led by the Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, is also in collaboration with other Centres of Excellence around the world, industry, and governmental and non-governmental agencies. All parties aim to provide training and consultancy in global supply chain integrity of safe, effective, and quality medical products to ensure the safety and health of consumers.

“It is important to keep abreast of the latest events in the healthcare industry, and have access to a global network of like-minded healthcare and industry practitioners to ensure that we can find ways to mitigate those that intend to do harm towards people without access to proper medical supplies. I am pleased that the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is now a part of the bigger picture in this worldwide challenge,” Prof. Thomas continued.

Mr. Fabian Bigar, Undersecretary of Policy and International Relations Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia commented, “As the Malaysian focal point for the APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum and Healthcare, we are happy that Taylor’s University was chosen to be the APEC LSIF Training Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science (CoE) for Global Supply Chain Integrity. This is a testament to the hard work that the team at Taylor’s University have put in to ensure the success of this programme.”

In a world with global healthcare challenges, countries are increasingly dependent on the marketplace to provide medical products needed to keep their citizens healthy, by ensuring that access to legitimate products is not disrupted. This has been made apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, where we saw worldwide shortages in face masks, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and even certain medicines.

Therefore, ensuring a reliable and continuous supply chain of good quality, safe and effective medical products is of great importance. Governments around the world are aware of the constant danger of illegal and unsafe medicines and the harm it can cause people. This danger has been compounded and further facilitated through the internet sales of medical products. Trade in illegal and counterfeit medicines is a serious problem and both developing and developed nations have been grappling with this problem and unfortunately, in many countries, patient safety has been compromised.

There is a global need for effective supply chain processes which begin with the manufacturer through the Good Manufacturing practice (GMP), followed by Good Distribution Practice and the Track and Trace of Medical Products, as they move through the supply chain – across countries and also through the internet. Unscrupulous businessmen have found ways to move substandard medical products and thus disrupt and contaminate the supply chain at various points to the detriment of the health of the consumer.  Thus, there is a need for training of regulators and industry personnel in the various aspects of the supply chain for medical products and to maintain its integrity.

APEC’s selection criteria for a CoE includes being a trusted global education, or regulatory, or science-setting organisation – with the ability to develop and deliver training programmes against priorities set by APEC. This includes credibility in the CoE and ability to provide faculty through their own staff, visiting regulatory staff and other experts.

This endorsement follows a successful completion of a three-day training on “Good Distribution Practice, Track and Trace and Internet Sales” in September last year, at the Taylor’s Lakeside Campus. The session saw an attendance by almost 100 participants from 9 countries – with speakers from the Ministry of Health Malaysia, non-governmental organisations, the US Food Drug Administration (FDA), and the pharmaceutical industry.

Emeritus Professor Dr. P.T. Thomas
Executive Dean, Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences