Fake medicines takes toll on African lives
from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – WITH 100 000 deaths linked to the trend in Africa annually, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is worried by the prevalence of fake medicines and medical products sold at street corners, open air markets and unregulated websites in several countries in the continent.
These poor quality, unsafe medicines and products promote drug resistance and lead to loss of confidence in health professionals, pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors and in health systems.
In an effort to protect people’s health, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, has proposed a strategy aimed at strengthening National Medicine Regulatory Authorities (NMRAs) in order to ensure that only safe, good quality and effective medical products are available in countries.
The strategy was presented at the annual meeting of Health Ministers from the WHO African Region taking place in Addis Ababa.
Moeti said functional regulatory systems ensure that medical products consistently met international standards and were monitored from clinical evaluation to licensure and use.
“They play a critical role in protecting people’s health and strengthening health systems to contribute to universal health coverage,” Moeti said.
By 2018, countries are expected to ensure that a regular surveillance of all medical products circulating on the market is carried out.
The proliferation of fake, falsified and substandard drugs is a criminal offence but punishments are seen not deterrent.
– CAJ News
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