Partners in Crime: National Theft of Global Fund Medicines

Roger Bate | 20 Apr 2011 | Africa Fighting Malaria

Millions of dollars of donated antimalarial drugs have been stolen, most often by staff of recipient government medical stores; this strengthens criminal gangs and undermines donor intent. The main culprit donor is the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, which worryingly is pushing ahead with further schemes that have the same inherent weaknesses, which may worsen the theft problem.

Measuring the AMFm

Richard Tren & Kimberly Hess | 04 Mar 2011 | The Lancet

In discussing measurement of the effectiveness of the Affordable Medicines Facility—malaria (AMFm), Olusoji Adeyi and Rifat Atun (Nov 27, p 1869)1 claim that "Expectations of attributable and rapid increases in measures of service delivery at the household level, which are neither new nor unique to AMFm, are inappropriate and unrealistic within the duration of the pilot studies."

Aid Agencies Turning a Blind Eye to Stolen Drugs

Roger Bate | 03 Mar 2011 | Economic Affairs

Aid agencies aim to do good; those providing medicines for fatal diseases save lives. Last year the US 'President's Malaria Initiative' (PMI) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) between them bought about 120 million treatments, mainly for sub-Saharan Africa.

Why and How to Make an International Crime of Medicine Counterfeiting

Amir Attaran, Roger Bate & Megan Kendall | 10 Feb 2011 | Journal of International Criminal Justice

The article explores why — when the counterfeiting of medicines is so prevalent, hard to detect and quietly dangerous or fatal — it remains totally unaddressed and therefore legal in international criminal law.

AFM Bulletin #5: Improving Assessments of Fake and Substandard Drugs in the Field

Roger Bate | 13 Jan 2011 | Africa Fighting Malaria

Substandard and counterfeit drugs can be lethal to patients and accelerate drug resistance across at-risk populations. This is a major problem for diseases like malaria with few high-quality treatments available.

Africa's Epidemic of Disappearing Medicine

Roger Bate | 11 Jan 2011 | Foreign Policy

The arrival of nearly $10 million worth of donated antimalarial drugs in the small West African country of Togo starting in 2005 should have been fantastic news for the hundreds of thousands of impoverished people who fall sick with malaria there each year.

Are Drugs Made in Emerging Markets Good Quality?

Roger Bate | 22 Dec 2010 | American Enterprise Institute

Increasing competition generally decreases product prices. But in the case of pharmaceuticals, this is only beneficial if competitor products are therapeutically equivalent (bioequivalent). One measure of quality control is a consistently made product, examined in detail in this paper.

Price controls reduce access to medicines

Jasson Urbach | 07 Dec 2010 | Free Market Foundation

Dispensing fees, which stipulate the maximum price that pharmacists are allowed to charge for medicines, have been a bone of contention since the regulations were first proposed in January 2004, when the maximum price was set at an arbitrarily defined level of R24.

Do Aid Agencies Want to Know When Their Medicines Go Missing?

Roger Bate | 03 Dec 2010 | American Enterprise Institute

Lifesaving drugs donated by taxpayers to developing countries are being stolen, strengthening criminal gangs and undermining donor intent. More worryingly, some donors are not investigating this problem sufficiently; rather, they are moving ahead with programs that have the same inherent weaknesses, which may worsen the theft problem.

Drug Registration - a necessary but not sufficient condition for good quality drugs - a preliminary analysis of 12 countries

None | 01 Oct 2010 | Africa Fighting Malaria

As the United States has demonstrated over the past century, drug quality is partly dictated by the drug regulatory environment. Without at least basic quality control, cheats can flourish and quality can be weakened.