Legal medicines

Unit responsible: 

Checking medicines and health products to guarantee consumer health

We are the independent scientific reference for the analysis of medicines, health products and cosmetics.

Several institutions benefit from our services in this area:

  • For the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP), we check magistral preparations (from pharmacies) and specialties (from pharmaceutical companies), but also medicines from the illegal market (counterfeits)
  • For the FPS for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, we inspect e-cigarettes and questionable cosmetics
  • Analysis of raw materials for use in hospital preparations on behalf of the hospitals.

On behalf of our stakeholders and in the context of research projects, we are developing new analytical methods for quality control and surveillance in the areas of stockpiled medicines, e-cigarettes, cosmetics and medical devices. We are also trying to gain insight into possible harmful components present in e-liquids, cosmetics and medical devices. 

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We use physicochemical analyses to check both legal and illegal medicines and health products.

As an official laboratory for the analysis of medicines, we check, among other things:

  • The content of active ingredients and related substances in legal medicines to ensure that the doses comply with the marketing authorisation dossiers
  • The pharmacotechnical parameters in order to verify, for example, the dissolution rate of a medicine and the release of the active ingredient
  • The identity of the active substances and search for undeclared ingredients in products of fraudulent origin

As an official laboratory for the analysis of cosmetics, we check, among other things:

  • The concentration of allergenic fragrances present in cosmetics
  • The presence of whitening agents (for teeth or skin) in cosmetics of questionable origin
  • The presence of preservatives in baby wipes and other mass consumption products

We carry out customised analyses and support agencies concerned with public health through research, monitoring the market and our expertise.

  • For the FPS Internal Affairs, we carry out quality controls on the stock of strategic medicines
  • For Modus Vivendi and the Belgian Early Warning System, we examine the composition of drugs with the aim of prevention and raising awareness
  • For the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM), we participate in the analysis of products authorised at European level

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