The Partnership for Safe Medicines
Weekly UpdateJuly 26, 2010
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African Healthcare Providers Struggle with Counterfeit Drugs

The obstacles in the way of providing quality healthcare to many Africans are numerous. The cost of such care, the difficulty of spreading medical information and the challenge of providing care in remote areas are just some of the problems plaguing Africa. But one of the most important matters that healthcare providers in Africa face is stopping the use of counterfeit drugs.

Indeed, the use of counterfeit drugs is a serious problem in Africa, with a survey conducted by U.S. Pharmacopeia estimating that 44 percent of anti-malarial medicines in Senegal did not pass quality tests, according to

Julian Harris, a Research Fellow at the London-based International Policy Network, conducted a survey of health clinics in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and found that such places are struggling to provide quality healthcare. 

"Such clinics, both public and private are in unenviable position of having to source affordable medicines while avoiding the sea of sub-standard and counterfeit offerings," she told the news source.

The World Health Organization estimates that counterfeit drugs make up about 10 percent of the global pharmaceutical market, reports the news provider.

Top News

Anti-counterfeiting Technology Could Help Governments Track Fake Drugs


Developing nations have struggled mightily with counterfeit drugs, like when 400 people in Nigeria, Haiti and Bangladesh died from taking a medication treated with wallpaper remover, and that is why anti-counterfeiting technologies can be important in preventing counterfeit drugs from entering the secure pharmaceutical supply chain. One such technology has been in use for diabetes medication in Nigeria since this past February, according to The technology helps to empower drug takers to identify counterfeit drugs using a technique known as crowdsourcing.
(Partnership for Safe Medicines,
July 23, 2010; Link here)

World News

India: Officials Consider Export Tags to Ensure Against Counterfeit Drugs


According to the Hindustan Times, the Indian government is planning to roll out a unique identification system for exports of pharmaceuticals, in order to curb the counterfeit drug trade and to protect the public as well as the pharmaceutical industry's image. "We want to have a technology by which the regulator of a particular country...has access to information whether it is really made in India or not," said Ashok Kumar of the Department of Pharmaceuticals. (Govt mulls pharma export tags to check counterfeits," Hindustan Times, July 19, 2010; Story here)



China: Search Engine Allegedly Promoting Counterfeit Drug Sites


According to a report by China's state-run television station (CCTV), Baidu Inc is guilty of promoting counterfeit drugs sales through its Web search engine. CCTV reported on Sunday that Baidu and other search engines had profited from promoting three websites that illegally sold dangerous counterfeit drugs to more than 3,000 people in China, according to the People's Daily newspaper. The sites allegedly exploited a loophole in the system, piggybacking on legitimate websites to gain access to buy keywords. ("Baidu Promotes Fake Drug Sites-Chinese TV Station," Reuters, July 19, 2010; Story here)


Anti-counterfeiting Americas (Bosto
n, USA)
When: Wednesday, Sep 8, 2010
Where: Boston, USA
Description: Link here

PSM's Inaugural 2010 Interchange

When: Friday, Oct 8, 2010
Where: Washington, D.C

PSM InterchangeThe Partnership for Safe Medicines invites you to save the date for an intimate conference bringing together patient groups, providers, pharmaceutical company quality experts, enforcement personnel, policymakers, regulatory agency experts and other interested parties to discuss key issues around counterfeit drugs and other unsafe medicines. Register by August 1st to take advantage of reduced registration fees.

Register Now
About the Partnership for Safe Medicines
The Partnership for Safe Medicines is a group of organizations and individuals that have policies, procedures, or programs to protect consumers from counterfeit or contraband medicines. For more information, please visit