A meeting in the Togolese capital Lomé has discussed the urgent need to find new ways to address the growing problem of fake and substandard drugs.
Fake products continue to sell well in developing countries because they are cheap. Some of the most widely faked drugs are antibiotics and antimalarials. Many contain low (but ineffective) doses of the active ingredient, and exposure of the disease-causing organisms to such low doses encourages the development of resistant strains.
Delegates at the meeting agreed on the need for a united public-private front to overcome people’s resistance to health warnings and to dismantle increasingly sophisticated trafficking networks.
The event was organized by Leem, a body representing French pharmaceutical companies, and brought together government health officials from francophone African countries. A report on the meeting from IRIN News also includes links to other recent IRIN stories on the issue of fake drugs.