Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

WHO Launches Campaign against Counterfeit Medicines

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

WHO Launches Campaign against Counterfeit Medicines

Article excerpt

WHO launched an action plan at a meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam, this month to crack down on substandard and counterfeit medicines circulating in six countries from the Greater Mekong sub-region.

The campaign, following on from similar initiatives in Africa, will target counterfeit and substandard antibiotics and AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis drags in Cambodia, China, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam.

"Combating low quality or illegal medicines is now more important than ever. Expanding access to safe, effective treatment for AIDS and other illnesses is no longer an option, it is an imperative," said WHO's Director-General, Dr LEE Jong-wook.

During the meeting on 11-13 November, WHO and the six countries embarked on joint activities to combat counterfeiting of medicines in the region, to promote advocacy activities directed at key decision-makers, health professionals and the general public and to strengthen inspection and post marketing surveillance.

WHO estimates that Cambodia has about 2800 illegal medicine sellers and about 1000 unregistered medicines on the market. In 2001, China had roughly 500 illegal medicine manufacturers, and die Lao People's Democratic Republic had about 2100 illegal medicine sellers.

Substandard medicines are believed to account for 8.5% of medicines on the market in Thailand. In Viet Nam eight per cent of randomly collected samples and 16% in Myanmar failed laboratory testing for quality assessment. …

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