The world has become aware of counterfeit medicines circulating in the market when counterfeited anti-malaria drugs were found in Africa. The news had stirred global awareness and certain measures were immediately implemented.
Now that this news has already been aged by time, it has been set aside to make way for newer issues and globally impacting matters. Malaria happening in Africa may not be as affecting to any other part of the world but may also be a threat to many.
The Peterson Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of any forms of counterfeit medicine around the globe, with the permission of World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released their own warnings on the possible threats of counterfeit anti-malaria drugs in the market.
Recent studies show that the distribution of these drugs has reached even the strict city of Jakarta, Indonesia, mostly sold out to foreigners who are too concerned for mosquito bites before visiting Sumatra and Bali and too oblivious of the possibility of counterfeiting. There are also accounts claiming that the drugs have also reached Bangkok, Thailand.
Governments of both countries are already creating counter attacks for scammers who are spreading the illegal distribution.
Many organizations continue to warn individuals. Proliferation of illegal, mislabeled, counterfeited and fake medicines are not merely an act of illegal importation and manufacture. It is, in a sense, a manslaughter resulting to murder. Therefore, any act associated with it is immoral and inhumane.
China and India tops the list of the possible manufacturers of these drugs and the source of its circulation to many countries in Asia and apparently spreading to many parts in Africa. Underdeveloped and developing nations are mostly targeted since they provide very lax security measures.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention has emphasized this through their statement, “these medicines can be found anywhere, but they are especially prevalent in developing countries lacking effective drug regulatory agencies as well as resources required to effectively evaluate drug quality or enforce drug quality regulations.”
For those who may need the guidance on how to avoid it, here are some tips:
• Buy the antimalarial drugs you need in your home country and keep the original packaging.
• Write down the drug's generic and brand names as well as the name of the manufacturer so in case you run out, you can look for the correct product.
• If you need to purchase medicine in the country you are visiting, inspect and compare the packaging of the medicine available for sale in that country with the original. Many times poor quality printing or paper indicates a counterfeited product.
• Be suspicious of tablets that have a peculiar odor, taste, or color, or ones that are extremely brittle. Ill-defined imprints on the tablet may indicate a counterfeit.