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Substandard and Counterfeit Antimalarial Drugs in Ghana Discovered by Cooperative Program of USP, Ghana Food and Drugs Board
Date:11/8/2010

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 mediarelations@usp.org or visit http://www.usp.org/worldwide/.

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

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