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Fight the Fakes is thrilled to be named as one of the organisations addressing falsified medicines in a new review article in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene which was published on March 11. In the article, titled ‘Falsiﬁed and Substandard Drugs: Stopping the Pandemic’, doctors are describing the growing global prevalence of falsified medicines as a ‘public health emergency’.
They are urging the global health community to step up their efforts in tackling the production and distribution of falsified medicines which are thought to cause the deaths of thousands of people annually. Besides the serious health implications, falsified medicines create an annual economic loss of up to US$200 billion, and significantly contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance.
The World Health Organisation has emerged as a far-reaching actor in the fight against falsified medicines and pharmaceutical companies are seen as having strengthened the quality control along the medical supply chain, however the doctors are arguing that more needs to be done in ‘research, policy, and ﬁeld monitoring to halt the pandemic of bad drugs’. They offer several key recommendations:
- More support for the WHO Ofﬁce of Global Surveillance and Monitoring is needed;
- The WHO needs to focus also on regulatory systems, technology awareness, training, and pharmaceutical stewardship in member states;
- Activities to contain the spread of falsified medicines need to be included in National Action Plans for Antimicrobial Resistance;
- More & better data collection and data sharing systems for the prevalence of falsified medicines are needed;
- National capacity training of health staff, technology transfer, and guidelines to deﬁne local problems, solutions, and actions are immediate priorities;
- An international convention to insure drug quality and safety addressing organised crime, corruption and health should be set up;
Since its release, the review has been picked up by newspapers around the world, most notably The Guardian who released an article particularly focusing on the impact falsified medicines have on children.
To emphasize the importance of the fight against falsified medicines and the need to continuously raise awareness, Fight the Fakes has created two social media cards which highlight key findings from the review article in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Download our cards, share them and show why you fight falsified medicine! Make sure to tag @FightTheFakes and join the conversation using #fakemeds.
Social Media Card 1