Is War against Bad Medicine Paying off?

Roger Bate & Thompson Ayodele | 01 Aug 2009 | This Day

For at least three decades, Nigeria has been plagued by counterfeit and poor-quality medicines. In 2002, the World Health Organization reported that 70% of medicines in Nigeria were fake or substandard while the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) estimated a full 41% were fake.

Africa Fighting Malaria: On the Front Lines of Advocacy for Malaria Control and Public Health Insecticides

Donald Roberts | 01 Aug 2009 | Wing Beats

Malaria sickens over 500 million people and claims over 1 million lives every year. The vast majority of victims are African children. Malaria has no natural constituency in developed countries, having long been eradicated.

East Africa: Battleground on Counterfeit Drugs

Roger Bate | 23 Jun 2009 | The New Ledger

Kenya recently adopted an anti-counterfeit law, and now its neighbor Uganda is contemplating adopting similar legislation. The drive to combat counterfeit drugs is a good one, and East African nations definitely needed to initiate legislation, since counterfeit products probably harm thousands in the region.

The Global Fund

None | 23 Jun 2009 | Africa Fighting Malaria

A five-year evaluation of the Global Fund was recently published. According to CGD's April Harding, they were given an "A - for "raising it"; a B - for "spending it"; and, a D minus, for "proving it"." Performance to determine continued funding is based on process indicators and outputs rather than on outcomes and impact, for example measuring the number of insecticide-treated nets distributed but not the number of children sleeping under them.

Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria

Roger Bate & Kimberly Hess | 23 Jun 2009 | The Lancet Infectious Diseases

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria recently approved an innovative initiative called the Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMFm), to increase access to artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) for the treatment of malaria.

AFM Bulletin #4: DDT, Malaria Control and Anti-Chemicals Advocacy: A Response to the 'Pine River Statement'

None | 09 Jun 2009 | Africa Fighting Malaria

In May 2009, Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) published The Pine River Statement: Human Health Consequences of DDT Use. AFM believes that robust, evidence-based discussion and debate over the role of DDT and other man-made chemicals in malaria control is helpful, especially if such debate could help focus attention on the long-term lack of investment in the search for legitimate replacement chemicals for DDT.

AMFm Opposing Views

None | 01 Jun 2009 | Africa Fighting Malaria

In response to the BBC's report that clinical trials in Cambodia have uncovered evidence of drug resistance as a result of poor case management, Oxfam released a press release cautioning that the AMFm's use of the private sector for antimalarial drug distribution could lead to "misdiagnosis and mistreatment," thereby contributing to the spread of drug resistance. On this same day, an article was published on, suggesting that the AMFm "is the world's best chance of eradicating the scourge of malaria once and for all."

A bitter pill to swallow

Jasson Urbach | 26 May 2009 | Health Policy Unit

More and more studies are revealing the shocking trade in fake and substandard medicines across the globe. These drugs result in millions of people unwittingly consuming all manner of content from talcum powder, to sawdust and cement. Fake medicines are most prevalent in poor countries that lack sufficient monitoring mechanisms and where defective legal systems create a thriving environment for them.

New tools to fight fake medicines

Roger Bate | 13 May 2009 | SciDev.Net

Poor quality medicines are pervasive across Africa. The WHO reports that more than 30 per cent of medicines on sale in many African countries are counterfeit, with some pills containing nothing more than chalk or water.

The United Nations' Retreat From Science in Controlling Malaria

Roger Bate | 12 May 2009 | The New Ledger

For two years the United Nations paid lip service to the truth that the insecticide DDT is a vital component of malaria control, but last week UN abandoned science in favor of superstition. The result is UN promotion of more dangerous and less efficient malaria control techniques.