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Ten Global Health Organizations United in a Worldwide Campaign to Protect Patients from Fake Medicines
Date:11/26/2013

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"Fake medicines are one of the biggest threats to global public health. You have people, everywhere in the world, they only think about the money, their profits and don't think about the consequences - they don't think about public health. It's a global problem and we all need to come on board in fighting together, and once we're able to do that we are going to make some real strides globally in fighting counterfeit medicines", says Dr. Stephen Opuni, Chief Executive of the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority.

Fake medicines trick patients into believing they are receiving genuine medicines while they are getting deceitful products that could cause further illness, disability or even death. Furthermore, fake medicines pose a public health threat by contributing to the development of treatment resistance.

While people in low- and middle-income countries are often at greater risk than those in high-income countries, fake medicines are a global problem. Fake medicines are reported in virtually every region of the world. In high income countries, incidence of fake medicines is less than 1% of market value according to the estimates of the countries concerned. Figures about sales of fake medicines rise to 10% globally, but in some areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America fake medicines may account for up to 30% of medicines in circulation. In Africa, one-third of all malaria medicines are probably fake[2]. It is estimated that one medicine in two purchased on illegal Internet sites that hide their physical address is fake.[3]

Fake medicines can mimic brand-name or generic prescription or over-the-counter medicines. Nearly any type of pharmaceutical product can be and has been counterfeited: whether 'lifestyle' medicines, including erectile dysfunction and weight loss medicines, or lifesa
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