The Partnership for Safe Medicines
Weekly UpdateAugust 16, 2010
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Sudan 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.

In 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.
Top News

Dietary Supplements may Pose Contamination Risk


According 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 here)



German Pharmacies see Influx of Counterfeit Drugs


Dozens 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)

World News

Nigeria Seizes Shipment of Counterfeit Drugs


A 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, 2010; Link here)



Cambodia Destroys 19 Tons of Counterfeit Drugs


Officials 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 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