Combating a Global Pandemic of Weak, Adulterated, and Fake Drugs

Whether it’s willful counterfeiting, sloppy manufacturing processes, or neglectful handing of drugs in the global supply chain, recent studies suggest the problem of weakened, adulterated, and fake drugs is a growing global issue with deadly consequences. In Africa, the lack of access to innovative drugs makes the population vulnerable to counterfeits and inefficacious copies of medicines that are much needed. This humanitarian crisis rests on policymakers’ steadfastness in each country to ensure the authenticity of the drug supply. Among the steps that should be taken is the restriction of the sale of drugs to pharmacies and hospitals and the prohibition of their sale through street vendors and open markets. There is also an urgent need for post-importation testing to ensure drugs actually contain their active ingredients in adequate strength before they are sold.  These are necessary parts of a needed comprehensive approach to combating the importation of counterfeit, weakened, and adulterated drugs. Countries have it within their power to protect their populations, ensure the integrity of medications, and restore trust in their healthcare systems.

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