On 12th November, ENACT Africa published a report saying that the growing phenomenon of counterfeit medicines in Africa puts people’s lives at risk and causes profound public health challenges.  The full scale of the challenge in Africa is not fully understood, but research suggests that the problem and its impact are severe.  The report says that it has been estimated that, worldwide, the counterfeit drug market is worth up to $200 billion.  According to WHO statistics, 42% of detected cases of substandard or falsified pharmaceuticals occurred in Africa.  A report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that the penetration of counterfeit pharmaceuticals is actually much greater in the developing world: the report estimates that poorer countries experience about 30% penetration, as opposed to less than 1% in the developed world.  Africa suffers the most as an ‘easy target’ for counterfeiters.  In terms of drug categories, antimalarials and antibiotics are among the most widely reported counterfeits.  Counterfeiters target high-demand drug types, with deadly consequences.  Nearly half of antimalarials fail to meet quality standards, while antibiotics account for a significant share of falsified medical products reported to WHO.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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