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Africa victim of counterfeit and substandard medicines

Africa victim of counterfeit and substandard medicines

United Nations, Feb 2 (Prensa Latina) Sub-Saharan Africa records 267,000 deaths each year due to counterfeit or substandard anti-malarial drugs, according to a new report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The document points out that the high prevalence of infectious diseases, such as malaria, in the Sahel countries and other neighboring nations, problems of availability, price and access to health care create an environment in which the demand for medical products and services is not fully met through official channels.

The UN agency argues that the disproportion between supply and demand for regulated drugs encourages illegal marketing, fuels the involvement of organized criminal groups, and increases threats to public safety and health in this part of Africa.

Mostly these drugs are smuggled into the Sahel by sea and are distributed through smugglers operating on the main transport routes using buses, trucks and private cars.

Between January 2017 and December 2021, at least 605 tons of different medical products were seized in West Africa during international operations.

According to the World Health Organization, the trade in counterfeit drugs-which includes medicines that are contaminated, expired, or contain the wrong or non-existent active ingredient-amounts to more than $30 billion in low- and middle-income countries.


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