Togo : Brazzaville Foundation launches former judge’s project to tackle fake medicines

Jean-Yves Ollivier, Brazzaville Foundation creator, announced that an initiative to enforce the fight against fake medicines will be launched in Lomé by end 2019. The project will be steered by Jean-Louis Bruguière, Former French anti-terrorist Judge. Jeune Afrique reports that this initiative will run in partnership with the presidents of Togo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal and Uganda.

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Instagram to ban miracle treatment ads

The social media platform confirmed on Wednesday 18 September that ads posted on Instagram which contain “miraculous statements about certain slimming and weight loss products with a special offer or discount code” will be immediately blocked and made invisible to users under 18. Instagram has also established new rules for content which alludes to “miraculous results” for slimming products and which illustrates spectacular before/after results. “We want Instagram to be a positive environment for everyone who uses it. This policy is in line with our ongoing efforts to reduce social media-generated peer pressure”, said Emma Collins, Instagram Public Policy Manager.

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Spain : Grenada court investigates suspected unlicensed and illicit medicine distribution at a hospital

Grenada court has opened an enquiry into untraced medicines which were reportedly delivered to Grenada’s Virgen de las Nieves hospital by an unlicensed distributor several years ago. In total, 14 people are under investigation. The prosecutor’s office’s complaint concerns, among others, the employer of three suspicious pharmaceutical companies and those responsible for selling medicines.

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USA : Texas court sentences Iraqi migrant to 30 years for selling fake and illicit medicines on the dark web

Medicines sold by Alaa Mohammed Allawi, who worked as an interpreter for the Department of Defense before being granted entry to the US in 2012, are said to have resulted in the death of a US Marine and two non-fatal overdoses. The defendant and his co-conspirators sold oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl to people addicted to opioids in exchange for payment in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. Allawi, who is said to have started selling fake prescription medicines to college students at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015, led a gang that manufactured and sold over 350,000 oxycodone tablets laced with synthetic opioid fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. As well as a 30-year jail term, Allawi was also handed a $14.32 million fine based on the profits he made from his dark web medicines racket.

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Panama : Fake toothpaste containing anti-freeze identified

Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) has reported that the fake toothpaste, found in stores in Panama City, David and Santiago, was a counterfeit of Colgate-Palmolive’s Triple Action brand. It bears an expiry date of April 2022 and lot number L9099CT1034. The product contains diethylene glycol (DEG), an ingredient which poisoned hundreds of people in Panama several years ago.

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