The push for local production, costs and benefits - A case study of Uganda's Quality Chemicals

None | 02 Sep 2023 | Africa Fighting Malaria

Many Africans lack access to essential medicines. There are myriad reasons for this: poverty, lack of awareness about the need for treatment, confusion over which drugs to take, technical and logistical challenges in procurement and distribution combined with a general lack of local healthcare staff and infrastructure, among other cultural and political factors.

When Local Production Is Not the Answer

Roger Bate | 02 Sep 2023 |

Africa's poor people lack access to essential medicines. Distributional failures, inadequate patient education, and healthcare facilities are key causes, but the relatively high price of drugs also plays its part.

Drugs, Importation, and the Internet: A New Study

Roger Bate | 19 Aug 2023 | The New Ledger

The pharmaceutical industry insists importing drugs from overseas will be a danger to American patients. There is certainly evidence to back up their claim with a growing number of deaths directly caused by dangerous drugs coming from overseas, mainly from China.

Is War against Bad Medicine Paying off?

Roger Bate & Thompson Ayodele | 01 Aug 2023 | 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.

Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria

Roger Bate & Kimberly Hess | 23 Jun 2023 | 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.

AMFm Opposing Views

None | 01 Jun 2023 | 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 2023 | 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 2023 | 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.

Shelving malaria

Roger Bate | 02 Apr 2024 | Foreign Policy

We have all heard the stats and the supposed fixes for malaria: The mosquito-borne illness claims the lives of roughly a million people each year. Ninety percent of the deaths will be in Africa, mostly among pregnant women and children. Thanks to poor medical care and uneven prevention, 10 malaria victims will die before you finish reading this column.

Local Production of Antimalarial Drugs

None | 11 Mar 2024 | Africa Fighting Malaria

The idea that local production of goods increases access to those goods has captured the imagination of many policy makers, politicians and individuals for countless decades. Yet the evidence to back this up is absent.