Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dodgy Antimalarials- Public Health Risk

It is bad enough that malaria afflicts millions of people in impoverished areas. Now we are informed that low quality, ineffective antimalarials are being manufactured and sold to resource poor countries.

Here is a disturbing report published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases highlighting the issue of substandard or just simply counterfeit antimalarials, many of them being manufactured in India or China.  The drugs were distributed in southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In southeast Asia, up to 36% of medications sampled were counterfeit.At present, no universal jurisdiction allows prosecution of international traders in falsified drugs. 

The fatal consequences of counterfeit antimalarials are described in this article from the Smithsonian. 

To quote the Lancet paper's authors, "Production and distribution of counterfeit antimalarials should be prosecuted as crimes against humanity."

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