Quality Assurance

FHI 360 is the prime contractor for the USAID Global Health Supply Chain - Quality Assurance Program (GHSC-QA). The program is led by FHI 360’s Product Quality and Compliance (PQC) department based in Durham, North Carolina. GHSC-QA provides independent, essential, comprehensive quality assurance services covering the different health elements in the USAID Global Health Bureau that:

  • Assures that health commodities purchased on behalf of USAID meet applicable quality standards;
  • Implements Model Quality Assurance System (MQAS) guidance (WHO Technical Report Series);
  • Employs risk management practices to maintain diligence and recognizes that by limiting the risk of accepting products of inadequate quality increase protection of the end user and USAID is ensured.
  • Provides technical assistance and capacity building to host country governments and other stakeholders; 
  • Provides global technical leadership regarding quality issues to the international quality assurance community; 

GHSC-QA implements a risk-based approach to provide the best value for USAID. GHSC-QA regulatory and quality assurance professionals evaluate products for procurement, conduct cGMP audits, investigate product quality incidents and complaints, perform testing of health commodities, and provide technical assistance to National Drug Regulatory Authorities (NDRAs) and laboratories around the world.  With global activities spanning nearly 40 countries, GHSC-QA provides quality assurance on health commodities procured by USAID including:

TO1 – HIV Commodities

  • Antiretrovirals (ARVs)
  • Essential medicines
  • Food by prescription (FBP) and ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs)
  • Male and female condoms and personal lubricants
  • Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) kits
  • HIV and non-HIV rapid test kits (RTKs)
  • Laboratory supplies

TO3 – Reproductive Health Commodities

  • Oral contraceptives
  • Injectable contraceptives
  • Implants
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
  • Pregnancy test kits

TO4 – Maternal and Child Health Commodities and Zika

  • Essential medicines for infants and children
  • Specific products for Zika 

GHSC-QA is comprised of four objectives:

Objective 1: Quality Assurance

GHSC-QA is dedicated to ensuring that global health commodities meet high quality standards to limit the risk of products of inadequate quality and to increase protection for the end user. GHSC-QA’s quality assurance strategy includes product risk assessments, performing audits and technical reviews, managing product quality incidents and complaints such as product recalls, vendor prequalification, and managing approved supplier/product lists. The eligible lists available to the public are hyperlinked at the bottom of the page.  Technical advisory groups (TAGs) are convened to provide advice and expertise to USAID regarding the quality assurance program (QAP) and in addressing quality issues. Comprehensive risk management practices and regulatory expertise assure product compliance and a robust technical review process identifies poor quality products and prevents these from reaching the market.

To report a product quality complaint: GHSCQA@fhi360.org

Objective 2: Quality Control

GHSC-QA’s quality control (QC) strategy monitors the quality of health commodities procured on behalf of USAID. QC activities include: sampling and testing of products; establishing sampling and testing ratios; developing standardized testing protocols; monitoring results of testing; and implementing actions based upon the results of QC testing. With global sampling capabilities, GHSC-QA can sample products in most countries, including fragile states, depending on the current environment. GHSC-QA has the capacity to test family planning and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health commodities, and laboratory supplies.

State-of-the-art testing laboratories in Durham, North Carolina and Bangkok, Thailand are both accredited to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 17025.  A network of vetted, qualified testing laboratories with laboratories in Africa, Asia, North America, and Europe provide a range of testing services that offer flexibility and increased testing capacity. To keep the laboratories’ technology and technicians current on cutting-edge practices, GHSC-QA routinely initiates and participates in sanctioned inter-laboratory proficiency trials and its highly-trained technicians and chemists adhere to good laboratory practices (GLPs) in their evaluations of medical devices and pharmaceuticals which ensures our accreditation and that test results are consistent, reliable, and accurate.

For questions or concerns about orders, sampling, and testing: GHSC-QA-Orders@fhi360.org 

To report any quality or marketing issues related to oral contraceptive tablets with the Blue Lady logo, please contact BlueLadyInfo@usaid.gov.

Objective 3: Technical leadership and technical assistance

As a leader in quality assurance, GHSC-QA utilizes technical knowledge to engage with and provide technical support and training to partner country governments, USAID implementing partners, and other relevant stakeholders as requested and funded through USAID. Our technical expertise assists key stakeholders with product complaint resolution, product quality disputes, compliance with international standards and other regulatory issues related to health commodities.  The type of technical assistance provided around the world includes, but is not limited to, in-country laboratory trainings; product technical assessments to determine level of risk and corresponding control strategies; ISO 9001 and 17025 accreditation trainings; developing risk-based surveillance programs to evaluate the quality of health commodities circulating in local markets; overseeing or providing guidance to conduct investigations around product quality concerns; evaluating level of compliance of local manufacturers, suppliers and distributors to WHO standards (cGMP, GDP, GSP).  GHSC-QA provides these services for pharmaceuticals, medical devices (including in-vitro diagnostics), food by prescription, vector control commodities and others.

For more information about GHSC-QA technical assistance refer to this fact sheet or contact: abarojas@fhi360.org 

Objective 4: Collaborate with global partners

GHSC-QA collaborates with global QA stakeholders to ensure and improve product quality for all beneficiaries. GHSC-QA project staff regularly participate in standards and industry meetings, global conferences, and multilateral meetings with international agencies, regulatory bodies, and standard-setting organizations to improve access to quality health commodities. GHSC-QA works with industry leaders to continue to develop internationally recognized product and test standards. GHSC-QA technical expertise drives us to identify innovative approaches in the field of QA, including new methods and technologies, and to collaborate with other experts in the field to improve the quality and availability of global health commodities. GHSC-QA’s role in ensuring the procurement of quality health commodities also involves frequent and consistent communication and collaboration with USAID and GHSC programs.

Eligible Lists

The USAID Global Health Supply Chain-Quality Assurance Program (GHSC-QA) maintains uncontrolled copies of eligible lists of products/suppliers for public viewing. These lists are available via the attached resources section below and are updated on a monthly basis.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in these eligible lists is provided for informational purposes only and represent the recommendation for procurement by the Global Health Supply Chain Program (GHSC), based on USAID and GHSC-PSM procurement strategies at the time of publication and may not reflect the current eligibility status. While efforts have been made to accurately represent each product, the information contained herein is based on information available to GHSC-QA and may not be all inclusive or be reflective of the currently marketed product. Also, the information in this list is not intended to be an endorsement of the supplier/manufacturer/product. Donors and other procurement agents are encouraged to follow their own guidelines and procedures for procurement decision making.

Contact Address

United States