International : UNODC report: increasing number of fake medicines manufactured in South East Asia

internationalA United Nations report has confirmed that an increasing number of fake medicines are being manufactured in countries in South East Asia. This is partly due to the fact that legal and unlawful pharmaceutical manufacturers based in India and China have transferred or subcontracted certain business activities. Organized crime groups in Asia are thought to play an active role in the online illicit medicine trade. In Indonesia, for example, major gangs dealing in counterfeit pharmaceuticals coordinate most of the manufacturing and trafficking of illicit medicines and the majority of trading occurs online. Criminal gangs in Asia are thought to be increasingly attempting to sell fake and counterfeit medicines via online pharmacies in North America. The report states that “a vast range of fake medicines have been identified in the past years in South East Asia, particularly fake rabies vaccines, cancer treatments, antimicrobial treatments, anabolic steroids, sleeping tablets, pregnancy tests and infertility and weight loss medicines. Fake antimalarial medicine is an ongoing public health risk in the Mekong region. Cases of medicine-resistant malaria have been reported in critical border areas, such as the borders running between Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar.”
Corruption is also deemed to be central to the fake medicine trade.

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