Tackling the booming trade in counterfeit drugs

Nayanah Siva | 19 Nov 2010 | The Lancet

The black market in counterfeit drugs is worth billions, but it does untold damage to the health of the poorest populations. Nayanah Siva reports on international efforts to tackle the problem.

Last month 45 countries took part in the internet-based campaign Operation Pangea III to tackle online counterfeit drug crime. As a result, regulators recovered thousands of illicit and counterfeit drugs valued at US$2·6 million, 76 people were arrested across the globe, 694 website investigations were opened, and 290 illegal websites have already been shut down. The operation involved several international organisations, including police, customs, national drug regulators, and internet service providers working together.

Operation Pangea III is the third of its kind, and over the past 2 years has aimed to raise awareness about the international black market of counterfeit medication. The head of INTERPOL, who coordinated the operation, lauded the fact that 20 more countries took part in the operation than in 2009, signifying a step towards greater international cooperation against counterfeit drug crime.

Greedy pharmacists a threat to malaria war

None | 11 Nov 2010 | Daily Nation

That malaria is a major health and economic burden in this country in not in doubt, and this may continue to be the case for quite a while. In the past five years, Kenya and the global community have spent huge amounts of money and resources to accelerate efforts to reduce the malaria burden.

Overpriced medicines sabotage malaria war

Gatonye Gathura | 09 Nov 2010 | Daily Nation

Pharmacists across the country are making massive profits from highly subsidised malaria drugs that are meant to make the treatment more accessible to majority of Kenyans.

Award-winning malaria scientist warns of drug resistance

Carly Weeks | 25 Oct 2010 | Globe and Mail

The most effective malaria treatment ever discovered was not developed by a team of scientists in a high-tech lab. It was created using a traditional Chinese herbal remedy that had been used to treat illness for hundreds of years.

Theft and corruption take malaria drugs away from Africa's poorest

Oliver Steeds | 01 Oct 2010 | The Independent

Widespread government corruption and theft of anti-malarial drugs is preventing the poorest people in Uganda from receiving treatment for a preventable disease that kills 300 people in the country every day, an investigation has revealed.

Shortage of malaria drugs is largely artificial

Hamis Kaheru | 21 Sep 2010 | Daily Monitor

Findings by the Budget Monitoring Unit of the Ministry of Finance have revealed that the majority of people who go to government health centres for malaria drugs are not patients.

Drug manufacturing in Africa

Lembit Rägo, Jitka Sabartova & Jacqueline Sawyer | 18 Sep 2010 | The Lancet

Tatum Anderson (May 8, p 1597)1 highlights important elements of the debate surrounding local pharmaceutical production in developing countries.

Anti-malaria drugs worth Shs7 million go missing

Martin Okudi | 16 Sep 2010 | Daily Monitor

Police in Moyo are investigating the loss of 46 packets of coartem drugs worth Shs7 million, which went missing under unclear circumstances.

India's market in generic drugs also leads to counterfeiting

Rama Lakshmi | 11 Sep 2010 | Washington Post

In New Delhi Private investigator Suresh Sati rattled off the popular brand names listed on the boxes of cough syrup, supplements, vitamins and painkillers sprawled across the desk and shelves in his basement office.

Global Fund Investigates Possible Theft, Sale of Malaria Medication

Talea Miller | 04 Sep 2010 | PBS NewsHour

Malaria causes about 1 million deaths around the world each year, but not all the medication donated to fight the disease is reaching its intended targets.