Studies have shown that the problems of fake drug proliferation in Nigeria have affected the credibility of the Healthcare system and can exert very harmful effects on the consumer resulting to illness; disability and even death and anyone can be a victim. Some of the incidences have resulted in death even among children because most times the consumers do not know the quality of what they are buying or taking.
Genuine Beecham Ampiclox capsules suspension or drops is produced by GlaxoSmithKline, a British multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Brentford, England but with subsidiaries all over the world. The drug is indicated for the prophylaxis or treatment of bacterial infections. It is also appropriate for the treatment of respiratory tract infections: Bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema, lung abscess and infections associated with cystic fibrosis. Ear, nose and throat infections: Tonsillitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis, otitis media and quinsy. Pelvic infections: Septic abortion, salpingitis, puerperpal pyrexia and caesarian section prophylaxis. Urinary tract infections: Cystitis and pyelonephritis. Skin and soft tissue infections: Abscesses, boils, carbuncles and post-operative wound infections. Gastro- intestinal infections, Septicaemia, endocarditis and orthopaedic infection.
However, fraudsters and criminals have denied many the benefits of this drug by producing counterfeit versions which can contain the wrong amount of active ingredient (too little, too much, or none at all). Some fake medicines have been found to contain mercury, arsenic, rat poison or cement according to Interpol.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says 42% of all fake medicines reported to them between 2013 and 2017 were from Africa. But there’ve been several seizures in recent years, which give an indication of the size of the problem in West Africa:
- Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone seized 19 tonnes of counterfeit medicines in 2018
- Smugglers in Ivory Coast were intercepted trying to bring in 12 tonnes of counterfeit pharmaceuticals from Ghana in 2019
- An Interpol-led operation in seven West African countries seized more than 420 tonnes of illicit pharmaceutical products in 2017
- Nearly 19.88 tonnes of fake medicines were seized in Mali between 2015-18
The accounting firm PwC says the proportion of fake pharmaceuticals in some countries can be as high as 70%, in developing regions such as Africa. The WHO estimates one out of every 10 medical products in low- and middle-income countries, which includes most of Africa, is sub-standard or fake.
The National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) previously arrested five persons in connection with forgery and manufacturing of substandard and counterfeit drugs in Nigeria. The packaging materials for fake Ampiclox, Augmentin, Fake Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) code labels and GSK Hologram were recovered from the suspects.
How To Spot Fake Beecham Ampiclox (GSK)
The Mobile Authentication Service an SMS-based Mobile telephony technology is currently being used by the consumers right on the spot of purchase to detect the genuineness of pharmaceuticals products in Nigeria. To verify the authenticity of an Ampiclox Beecham, the consumer simply sends an SMS to 38353 to confirm the genuineness of the drug.
Every MAS enabled drug like Ampiclox Beecham comes with a unique 10-digit number covered by a panel. All the consumer needs to do is to scratch off the panel to reveal the 10-digit number. Then the consumer should text the 10-digit number to 38353 and in a few seconds they will receive an SMS on their mobile phone informing them whether the drug is original or fake. ALSO READ: How to Spot Fake Augmentin
This service pioneered by NAFDAC, is provided in partnership with GSM operators and pharmaceutical companies. It offers an anti-counterfeiting solution for drugs to protect consumers from the menace of fake and adulterated drugs. The technology for the anti-counterfeiting solution is provided by Sproxil a company focused on brand protection for emerging markets. READ: Can Ampiclox Prevent pregnancy?