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Fake Pharma: How bad is Africa’s counterfeit medicine problem?

The proliferation of fake medicines in Africa is a public health crisis that can no longer be ignored, according to a UK charity.

There's a meeting of seven African countries, in Togo, this week, to combat the problem.

Congo, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Uganda, Ghana and The Gambia will discuss measures to clamp down on trafficking in fake medicines, says the Brazzaville Foundation.

But how big a problem is counterfeit medicine in Africa, and what impact does it have?

How many counterfeit drugs are there?

Globally, the trade in counterfeit pharmaceuticals is worth up to $200bn (£150bn) annually, with Africa among the regions most affected, according to industry estimates.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says 42% of all fake medicines reported to them between 2013 and 2017 were from Africa.

The European region and the Americas (North and South) accounted for 21% each.

But how reliable are these figures?

The WHO has a reporting mechanism that relies on national or regional regulatory authorities around the world to notify it of seizures. So the data for 2013-17 is only as good as the surveillance and reporting systems in the countries or regions concerned.



Register for The 4th GTDW Anti Illicit Trade, Brand & IPR Protection Conference & Exhibition to meet brand owners across industry sectors, customs, tax, police & judiciary to discuss the way forward through digitalisation, standardisation and interoperability of technologies to tackle this global issue as part of the 19th GTDW China Trade Development Week

4th GTDW China Anti Illicit Trade, Brand & IPR Protection Conference

Part of The 19th Global Trade Development Week

Shanghai Pudong, China

16-18 June 2020

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