WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Ten organizations band together in fight against fake medicines

Ten international health organizations banded together on Tuesday to fight against the market of dangerous fake medicines and asked that the public and other organizations join the cause to stop the trade.

"Fake medicines are one of the biggest threats to global public health," Chief Executive of the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority Dr. Stephen Opuni said. "You have people, everywhere in the world, they only think about the money, their profits and don't think about the consequences - they don't think about public health. It's a global problem and we all need to come on board in fighting together, and once we're able to do that we are going to make some real strides globally in fighting counterfeit medicines."

Fake medicines can be dangerous to people, resulting in further illness, permanent disability or death. Counterfeit medicines may mimic medicines for life-threatening diseases, such as antimalarial drugs, or lifestyle medicines, such as weight loss drugs.

The campaign, entitled Fight the Fakes, was launched by The Fondation Chirac, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, International Council of Nurses, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, International Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines, Medicines for Malaria Venture, NCD Alliance, U.S. Pharmacopeial Alliance, World Medicine Association and World Heart Federation.

While the prevalence of fake medicines in high-income countries may be one percent of all pharmaceuticals, some low-income countries, such as regions of Asia, Latin America and Africa, have a 30 percent prevalence of fake medicines.

The Fight the Fakes campaign asks individuals and organizations to pull together to increase awareness about the prevalence of counterfeit drugs and hopes to decrease the harm they cause to people around the world.