If you are reading this article from a developing country there is a 17 % chance that the last medication you took was fake, such is the level of inhumanity, fraud, and malevolence that currently characterize the pharmaceuticals drug market in Africa.
The continent is also saturated with Chinese quacks exploiting the vulnerable by selling Chinese food supplement as treatment for a wide range of infections and diseases including HIV and cancer.
So unregulated is the drug market in developing countries that, virtually anything and everything is sold as remedies and treatment for unimaginable conditions.
According to information available on the Essential Medicines and Health Products Information portal of the World Health Organization, the proliferation of fake drug in Nigeria has affected the credibility of the Healthcare system which can result in very harmful effects on consumers leading to illness, disabilities and even death.
In this article, we set out to provide the public with a clear picture of the damages and consequences of the lax in regulation in developing countries especially Africa and Nigeria in particular, as we intensify the fight against fake and counterfeit products in our quest for a safer and healthier society.
The Current Picture
- Nigeria is the world’s largest market for fake and counterfeit drugs among developing nations of the world according to NAFDAC
- Each year, more than 120,000 Africans are killed by Fake Malaria drugs
- 10- 30% of drugs and pharmaceutical products sold in developing countries are fakes and counterfeits
- India and china are the major manufacturers and suppliers of fake and counterfeit drugs globally
- According to the world Health Organization (WHO) 16% of fake / counterfeit drugs contain the wrong active ingredient
- About 33 % of all anti-malarial drugs which find their way into patent medicine stores, pharmacies, clinics and hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa are fake.
- A recent study which evaluated the quality of drugs globally found that overall, 9.1% of drugs worldwide failed the basic quality control tests. The study also reported that the drug failure rate in Africa was 16.6%, about one in every six pills.
- According to the International Criminal Policing Association otherwise known as (Interpol) fake and counterfeit drugs kill 1 million people every year.
- Over 30% of counterfeit drugs currently being consumed globally are placebos and do not contain any active ingredients whatsoever.
- As at 2014, 10,603 websites were selling counterfeit medicines on the internet
The fight against counterfeiting is a fight that must not be lost!!!!
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