Official Medicines Control Laboratory (OMCL) Networks

Networks of Official Medicines Control Laboratories (OMCLs) 

Bringing regional OMCLs together to strengthen medicines quality around the world


OMCL networks were established to provide a forum for sharing best practices on medicines quality issues at regional and national levels. These networks offer unique inter-laboratory testing activities for participating labs to improve laboratory performance as well as harmonize their drug analysis methodologies. 
There are currently four OMCL networks: The External Quality Control Programs (EQCP) network, created in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and OMCLs from Latin American and Caribbean countries (2001); and the Networks of Official Medicines Control Laboratories (NOMCoL) in Africa (2009), Middle East/North Africa (MENA) (2010), and Asia Pacific (2013).

OMCL Network Objectives

  • Strengthen the performance and technical skills of OMCL staff
  • Promote communication and the exchange of information
  • Harmonize methodologies to facilitate acceptance/recognition
  • Ensure compliance with Good Laboratory Practices (GLP)
  • Help eliminate substandard and counterfeit drugs

Participating Countries

  • EQCP Network
    Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela

  • NOMCoL-Africa
    Botswana, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal,  Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

    Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Yemen
  • NOMCoL-Asia Pacific (as of Oct 2014)
    Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam


EQCP has made it possible for participating labs to formulate recommendations to optimize testing capacity and reporting, identify areas that demand technical cooperation, evaluate the quality of medicines used in priority programs, and develop the concept of reference quality control laboratories in the region. 

NOMCoL-Africa has facilitated South-South collaboration on the quality control of essential medicines commonly used in the region. Annual inter-laboratory testing and hands-on training increase their ability to detect substandard and counterfeit medicines. They have developed a Virtual Forum and website to increase visibility of the network and its activities and share information.

INOMCoL-MENAmembers also participate in annual inter-laboratory testing and hands-on training; the individualized reports they receive from USP help further their growth. Efforts are underway for USP and accredited members to assist other members to reach internationally accepted standards for laboratories.

INOMCol-Asia Pacific was established by OMCLs in the region with the aim of strengthening the technical and procedural capacity of their members towards achieving and maintaining international medicines control laboratory standards. 

Learn More

Contact: Mr. Hari Ramanathan, Manager, Global Health Programs