The Institute of Biological Products, Department of Medical Sciences is the only WHO contracted laboratory performing tests on behalf of the WHO vaccine prequalification programme in ASEAN, and it is 1 out of 2 of such laboratories in Asia.
Dr. Sukhum Kanjanaphimai, the Director-General of the Department of Medical Sciences said that “The Institute of Biological Products (IBP) is the Thai National Control Laboratory (NCL) that controls the quality of vaccines and other biological products. The IBP is recognised as a member of WHO contracted laboratory performing tests on behalf of the WHO vaccine prequalification programme such as pertussis, rabies, hepatitis B and JE vaccines (live attenuated Chimeric JE vaccine). An advantage of being the WHO contracted laboratory performing the vaccine quality testing is that the systems of vaccine quality control in Thailand are well-known, reliable, and recognised by other countries, and, in addition, the Thai NCL can control the quality of imported vaccines used for Thai people in accordance with the international standards. Moreover, this is a great opportunity for the IBP staff to improve their skills continuously. If Thailand can manufacture vaccines or biological products for exporting to other countries, the products will be recognized by users in other countries. Therefore, the Department of Medical Sciences has ability to support Thai pharmaceutical industries to develop vaccines and biological products for use in Thailand and exporting to other countries”.
The DG added that “As the IBP lab was assessed by vaccine quality control experts and then the IBP lab passed the WHO standards in 2006. As a result, WHO recognized the potential of the IBP which can perform the tests on vaccines for complying with the international standards and then WHO sent the vaccine quality control experts to assess the potential and the readiness of the IBP lab in deep details on several parts such as analytical procedures, equipment, quality management systems, and laboratory facilities. Since then, the IBP has met the WHO requirements and been recognised as a WHO contracted Laboratory performing tests on behalf of the WHO vaccine prequalification programme. The IBP is assessed annually by the WHO experts to ensure the ability to perform vaccines testing. Recently, there are only 12 WHO contracted laboratories performing vaccine quality tests, and the IBP lab is the only WHO Contracted Laboratory performing vaccine quality tests in ASEAN, and 1 out of 2 of such laboratories in Asia. Being selected as a WHO contracted laboratory performing vaccine quality testing can prove the potential of the Department of Medical Sciences on vaccine quality control to other countries. We previously provided training courses in the vaccine quality control laboratory for government officials from many other countries such as China, Iran, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. In addition, we also provided the vaccine quality control courses in other countries like Myanmar, Malaysia, Iran, Vietnam, and the Philippines. What is more, the IBP staff are invited to be the members of the committees to review WHO guidelines and participate in workshops on vaccines and biological products. Therefore, the Thai NCL is a member of vaccine quality control networks in the country and other countries”.