|Weekly Update||August 16, 2010 |
Works to Fight Counterfeit Drugs
While ground zero in the fight against counterfeit
drugs in Africa is typically thought to be Nigeria, many other African nations are doing their best to combat the efforts
of unscrupulous individuals who deal in phony medicines, including Sudan.
The regional government of Southern Sudan is working to rid the area of
counterfeit drugs, according to the Sudan Vision.
Officials are trying to
battle this scourge through not only the high-tech solutions found in many
countries but also through good, old-fashioned campaigning, such as warning
residents about the dangers of counterfeit drugs through a giant megaphone
attached to the top of vehicle, which recently roamed a major marketplace in
Luonyaker, reports the news source.
Wol Kon Laau, the head of
Yiik Adoor Primary Health Care Unit in Gogrial East County in the Warrap State, said that he has been dealing with
counterfeit drugs for a long time.
"As a practitioner I
have had examples to give. I encountered most of them when I was practicing as
a medical student that certain drugs were brought into the system even in the
normal delivery system which were of low quality and it even becomes worse with
the drug peddlers who are going about villages killing people," he told
the news provider.
Laau is working to
establish local health committees that could combat fake drugs by countering
the claims of salesmen who say that they can cure everything from infertility
to kidney disease.
The flagship committee is
going to various places in the region and trying to find counterfeit drugs.
"With me in the
committee we go on the market. We sample products, and we publish the results
so that we can name and shame. We hope that within 18 months Southern Sudan in general and Warrap state in
particular should be able to have very decent data on the extent of the quality
problem in the area," Laau told the news provider.
Laau adds that such
research will give health experts and government officials better data to help
them combat the serious problem of counterfeit drugs.
addition, Laau says he hopes that his committee idea can be first extended to
other counties in the Warrap State
and then eventually to other states in Sudan.
Dietary Supplements may Pose
to consumer reports, many popular dietary supplements contain ingredients that
may cause cancer, heart problems, liver or kidney damage, but U.S. stores sell them anyway. Sadly,
Americans spend millions on such products each year. The magazine's report
highlights the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's lack of power to regulate
such supplements. Despite the "natural" labels carried by many of the
supplements, many are contaminated. The report specifically mentioned 12 supplement
ingredients that it said could be dangerous: aconite, bitter orange, chaparral,
colloidal silver, coltsfoot, comfrey, country mallow, germanium, greater
celandine, kava, lobelia, and yohimbe. Potential dangers posed by these drugs include
liver and kidney damage, heart rhythm disorders and unhealthy blood pressure
levels. ("U.S. Dietary Supplements Often Contaminated: Report," Washington Post,
August 3, 2010; Story
German Pharmacies see Influx of
pharmacies in the north of the country are under investigation for suspected
involvement in the distribution of illegal medicines, including counterfeits. A
pharmacist from the Braunschweig region is accused of handling €1.68m-worth and
several others are being investigated. Pharmacies in Hamburg, Celle, Verden and Kiel are also being probed. Reports
indicated that the counterfeit goods being traded included not only lifestyle
medicines such as impotency drugs and bodybuilding products, but also
painkillers, antibiotics and cancer treatments. ("German Pharmacies Infiltrated
by Fake Medicines?," Securing Pharma,
August 12, 2010; Story here)
Nigeria Seizes Shipment of Counterfeit Drugs
consignment of fake Tramadol was seized by Nigeria's National Agency for Food and Drug
Administration and Control (NAFDAC) at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano on July 23, according to the Daily
Sun. Tramadol is a painkiller that is often abused by youths in Nigeria, reports the news source. Dr. Paul
Orhii, the director-general of NAFDAC, said at a recent conference that his
agency had been tracking and monitoring the individual behind the shipment of
counterfeit drugs and that their efforts recently produced results. (PSM, August 13,
Cambodia Destroys 19 Tons of Counterfeit Drugs
in Cambodia recently destroyed approximately 19
tons of counterfeit drugs that had been seized from illicit sources. The drugs
were incinerated along with a number of expired medications and foods that were
laced with chemicals, according to the Phnom Penh Post. Mok Chito, director of
the Interior Ministry's criminal police, said that counterfeit drugs present a
danger to the public health. (PSM, August
12, 2010; Link
Anti-counterfeiting Americas (Boston, USA)
When: Wednesday, Sep 8, 2010
Where: Boston, USA
PSM's Inaugural 2010 Interchange
When: Friday, Oct 8, 2010
Where: Washington, D.C.The 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.
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 SafeMedicines.org