Falsified medicines in Africa: all talk, no action

Paul N Newton et al
The Lancet Global HealthVolume 2, Issue 9, Pages e509 – e510, September 2014

Poor-quality medicines and medical products, both substandard and falsified, cause avoidable morbidity, mortality, drug resistance, and loss of faith in health systems, especially in low-income and middle-income countries. We report the analysis of two falsified medicines from Angola and discuss what lessons such a discovery could hold.

It is extraordinary that, in 2014, systems are widely in place for suspicious aircraft parts but not for suspicious medicines.
When pharmaceutical companies and others encounter suspicious medicines or medical products, there remains tension between commercial interests, the need to investigate, and the requirement to act quickly to safeguard public health. There is no consensus mechanism to adjudicate these decisions from a public health perspective. This stagnant system must change.
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