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New microbiology lab to test medicines in Ghana

U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) |

New microbiology lab to test medicines in Ghana
Photo Credits: USP

Fight the Fakes partner the US Pharmacopeial Convention’s (USP) Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training (CePAT) in Accra, Ghana today opens a new pharmaceutical microbiology laboratory to test the contents of medicines in Africa. The state-of-the-art laboratory will train pharmaceutical and regulatory professionals to identify medicines contaminated with microorganisms, such as bacteria. Such testing has historically been a challenge in low-resource settings in Africa.

Millions of patients in Africa who rely on medicines to get well can benefit from having a skilled workforce and an expanded center to test the quality of medicines. As Dr. Patrick Lukulay, USP’s Vice President of Global Health Impact Programs in Africa, discusses in an Op-Ed in Uganda’s New Vision, with as much as a one-third of the drug supply on the continent estimated to be substandard or fake, patients’ chances of getting a product that doesn’t meet quality standards—and are unsafe and likely ineffective—are quite high.

Learn more about the new USP and CePAT lab here.

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In the US only 4% of online pharmacies appear to be in compliance with pharmacy laws & practice standards

#Fakemeds: 32% have no active ingredients, 40% have incorrect ingredients & dose, 8.5% contain dangerous contaminants

In 2013 US authorities published warning of fake #diabetes meds—ineffective & dangerous for patients

.@UNODC estimates the market value of fake #antimalarials at over US$400mil in west Africa alone

123 countries are impacted by #fakemeds

In 2013, Operation #Biyela seized 550 million doses of illicit medicine in #Africa

#Fakemeds seized during #Biyela? Antibiotics, painkillers, meds for high blood pressure & diabetes

#Fakemeds seized in Le Havre in May 2013 were hidden in sachets of tea

.@INTERPO_HQ L Operation #PangeaVI seized 9.8 million illegal & counterfeit drugs #fakemeds

Up to 40% of the drug supply of some countries in Africa could be #fakemeds

Up to 30% of medicines in developing countries are #fakemeds

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More than 50% of medicine sold worldwide from illegal online sources are #fakemeds

#fakemeds are 10% to 30% of global medicine: less than 1% in some countries, +30% in parts of Africa Asia & Latin America

Criminals trafficking #fakemeds make profits 10x more than those trafficking illicit drugs

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Of the 1mil deaths per year due to #malaria, 200,000 could be avoided if patients weren't treated with #fakemeds

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On internet sites that conceal their physical address 50% of the drugs are #fakemeds

Every therapeutic class of pharmaceutical product has been the subject of #counterfeiting

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Decades of fighting #malaria could be put at risk by #fakemeds on the market

Poisons found in #fakemeds include mercury, rat poison, boric acid, paint & antifreeze

India may have as much as 12-25% of their supply contaminated with substandard and #fakemeds

#DidYouKnow? Possession of #fakemeds is illegal, not just production or sale

In 2013 1.2 million sachets of #fakemeds were seized in Le Havre, France. The biggest seizure in the #EU

#DidYouKnow? 96% of online pharmacies operate illegally

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Both branded and generic products are subject to counterfeiting

700,000 people die because of #fakemeds to treat #malaria & #TB each year

1 out of 4 counterfeit products intercepted by EU customs in 2011 were #fakemeds

2011: European Customs retained 27.5 million #fakemeds

1 medicine in 2 purchased on internet sites that conceal their physical address is a #fakemed

30% of countries have little or no regulation to effectively combat #fakemeds