Navigation Links
Substandard and Counterfeit Antimalarial Drugs in Ghana Discovered by Cooperative Program of USP, Ghana Food and Drugs Board

ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Substandard and counterfeit versions of thirteen key antimalarial medicines were uncovered in multiple locations across Ghana by the Medicines Quality Monitoring surveillance program. Set up by the Ghana Food and Drugs Board (FDB) in collaboration with the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the program samples antimalarials across the public and private sectors. It was established in 2008 and is implemented by USP's Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) initiative. USP is a scientific nonprofit organization that develops globally recognized standards for the quality of medicines. Through the PQM program, USP works in developing countries to help verify and improve the quality of medications intended to treat life-threatening neglected diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

"Few people fully realize the devastation that distribution of substandard or counterfeit medications can wreak on vulnerable populations," said Stephen Opuni, M.D., chief executive officer of the FDB. "In this case some of the drugs discovered contained no active pharmaceutical ingredient, while others failed to meet required quality standards. This causes great harm in two ways: the individual patients taking the drugs get no relief, and drug-resistant strains of malaria may grow stronger. In addition, people lose confidence in the efficacy of medicines and may be reluctant to seek medical help when they need it. I'm very pleased with the outcomes we're seeing from the Medicines Quality Monitoring program."

In 2009 the same program uncovered a counterfeit version of Novartis' Coartem®, another widely used antimalarial. In that case, an alert citizen notified the authorities after suspecting the drug he bought might be fake. "Last year's seizure of counterfeit drugs showed the importance of public education," said Patrick Lukulay, Ph.D., director of the PQM program. "In the current case, rigorous surveillance worked very well. The fact that the fake and poor quality drugs were so widespread—found in many areas across Ghana, and in many types of outlets—underscores the need not only for continuing surveillance but also for active enforcement of anti-counterfeiting laws."

The discovery of the counterfeits—tragically, in use at a government-run hospital and private clinic, and being distributed through many pharmacies—has resulted in a nationwide recall of all thirteen drugs, including publicizing the names of the outlets where they were found.  This is intended as a strong deterrent, making pharmacy and hospital procurement personnel more vigilant about their suppliers. Manufacturers of some of the recalled medications will be required to meet with the FDB for required regulatory sanctions. Noted Dr. Lukulay, "It's important to keep in mind that all these fake and substandard medicines were found just in one round of post-market surveillance, just of antimalarials. The existence of many more substandard and counterfeit medications for other types of medicines and in other locations and facilities must be assumed. Public education and official collaborations between public and private sectors are both essential to protecting public health here in Ghana and in many other developing nations."

For more information about the PQM program and its work, please email or visit

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.

USP—Advancing Public Health Since 1820

The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a scientific, nonprofit, standards-setting organization that advances public health through public standards and related programs that help ensure the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods. USP's standards are recognized and used worldwide. For more information about USP visit

CONTACT: Laura Provan


SOURCE U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. One-Third of Antimalarial Medicines Sampled in Three African Nations Found to Be Substandard in Large-Scale USP-WHO Study
2. New Momentum Teams With Oracle to Help Reduce Counterfeiting in the Life Sciences Industry
3. Reportlinker Adds Impact of Counterfeits on Parallel Trade & Pharmaceutical Distribution: Issues, initiatives and insights for supply chain integrity
4. FDA Warns Consumers about Counterfeit Alli
5. International Operation Combats Online Supply of Counterfeit and Illegal Medicines
6. Two More Global Pharmaceutical Companies Choose New Momentum to Stop Counterfeits
7. Are the Prescription Drugs You Are Taking Real, or Counterfeit? HDNets Dan Rather Reports Investigates
8. As Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Goes Global, Threat of Counterfeiting, Intellectual Property Theft and Contamination Rises, Finds New Report; New Supply Chain Management Strategies Needed
9. New Company Starts, Bridging the Development Gap in the Discovery of Cancer Drugs
10. Oncology Drugs Development Update - Worldwide Markets and Forecasts of Approved EGFr/HEr2 Inhibitors, Treatment Costs, Pathway Analysis, Current and Expanded Clinical Indications, and Novel Agents in Development
11. Targanta Presents First Data Demonstrating In Vitro Activity and In Vivo Efficacy of Prodrugs in Osteomyelitis Models
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... TOKYO , 1 décembre 2015 ... plus grande exposition et conférence d,Asie ... médicaux et sur l,industrie manufacturière, se ... du 20 au 22 avril ... - Photo - ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Die MEDTEC Japan 2016, ... Entwicklung und Herstellung medizinischer Geräte, findet ... in Tokyo ... Foto: ... --> ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 MEDTEC Japan 2016, Asia,s largest ... to be held in Tokyo from 20 th  - 22 nd April 2016. ... -->   --> --> ... the United States . With the aging population and the government back ... steadily. --> the United States . With the aging ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Until now, the St. Louis ... the MOMS (Management of Myelomeningocele Study) trial. One of these exclusion criteria was a ... BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal, 25 - 29.9 is overweight and ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... . The directory is specialized and only includes chiropractic clinics in the US. ... competent and trustworthy alternative health practitioner when back pain sets in. When people ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Creek, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... MI, the American Cancer Society held an annual fundraising event, a 5K walk known ... a holistic treatment center for substance abuse which is also located in Battle Creek, ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... a University of Delaware Accounting and Management of Information Systems course. Based in ... mid-market businesses. Sommer will speak at before student in the Enterprise Resource Planning ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... has teamed up with Public Television’s Travel With Kids to promote ... follows the Simmons family as they explore international destinations and educate families about the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):