The trade in counterfeit medicines is flourishing. How can new technologies help to detect fakes? What will it take for developing countries to thwart the trade? And are current policies targeting the right threat to patients' health?
Displaying 1-3 of 3 key documents
Source: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences | March 2010
This paper, co-authored by Paul Newton of the Mahosot Hospital in Laos — who has collaborated closely with INTERPOL in its anti-counterfeiting operations — summarises evidence on the prevalence of counterfeit drugs, and details their medical and economic impact on poor countries. It outlines how the international community can tackle the problem, which the authors say needs to be taken more seriously. Although the trade in counterfeit drugs has obvious health impacts, its indirect effects are no less significant and include a loss of confidence in health systems and health workers.
Source: PLoS Medicine | June 2009
This study documents the chemical composition of drugs randomly sampled from pharmacies in Delhi and Chennai in India, and aims to offer the government guidance on improving drug regulation. India is a major producer and consumer of pharmaceuticals but, with quality control standards varying significantly between states, the country has high levels of counterfeit drugs. The study shows that 12 per cent of Delhi samples and 5 per cent of Chennai samples collected in 2008 and 2009 did not meet international quality standards. Although these numbers roughly match the government's estimates, there were differences between pharmacies in the types of drugs commonly counterfeited. And while some had no fake drugs, others had up to 30 per cent.
Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | October–December 2006
This report makes a case for the importance of antimalarial drug monitoring as an integral part of disease surveillance programmes in developing countries. Antimalarials are some of the most commonly counterfeited drugs — the high prevalence of malaria translates to a large consumer market in the developing world. The problem is serious in South-East Asia but is expected to become significant in African countries too. The report suggests that scientists ensure drugs are genuine and of a good quality before conducting efficacy or resistance studies in areas where counterfeits circulate widely.