Page 10 - 2018 10 02 CATALOGUE FRANCAIS pages
P. 10

2017: THE FAKE


                                                MEDICINES YEAR?





           2017 was an intense year in terms of fighting fake medicines and, in keeping with this trend,
           WHO reported that in developing countries, almost one medical product in ten is either
           substandard or fake. Some people question, whilst others turn a blind eye to, this terrifying
           estimation. How is it possible, given the state of affairs and this year’s incessant hauls,
           health warnings and arrests, that anyone could begin to question the scope and seriousness
           of the threat caused by international fake medicine trafficking? 2017 has proved, as if proof
           were needed, that alarm bells do not sound without reason!


           Africa in front-line                              Supply chain:
           position                                          the weakest link

           People who live in developed countries take for granted   Complex  health  product  supply  chains  provide  many
           the  fact  that  the  medicines  they  use  will  have  the   opportunities for fake medicine traffickers.
           desired  effect.  However,  in  many  parts  of  the  world,   Even  though  the  manufacturer-consumer  distribution
           buying safe medicines is like playing Russian roulette.   chains are relatively short and secure in most developed
           In January, IRACM and the World Customs Organization   countries, the latter may still be exposed to trafficking,
           reported  a  new,  record  haul  of  113  million  illicit  and   and this was proved in 2017.
           potentially  dangerous  pharmaceuticals  at  the  African   In  January,  the  Japanese  health  minister  announced
           border.  In  the  months  that  followed,  WHO  issued  4   that  bottles  of  falsified  hepatitis  C  medicines  had
                         1
           health  warnings for  fake  and  potentially  dangerous   been  uncovered  in  a  registered  pharmacy  chain.
           products which were all, rather curiously, identified on   The authorities suspected that the fake medicines were
           the African continent. The numerous hauls carried out   distributed  by  wholesalers  involved  in  unregistered
           during the year in Cameroon, Benin, Nigeria and Togo,   networks. There is no legislation to prevent unregistered
           etc., only serve to confirm the blatantly obvious truth.  distributors from buying medicines in Japan. The latter
           Perpetual, deeply-rooted                          can,  therefore,  buy  unused  medicines  from  health
                                                             centers  and  sell  them  to  pharmacies.  In  September,
           corruption                                        Germany reported its third case of fake medicines in the
                                                             legal supply chain: a fake copy of antiviral medication
           2017 was also marked by cases of corruption. In January,   Valcyte®,  Harvoni®  used  to  treat  hepatitis  C,  and
           an  investigation  involving  a  former  governor  hit  the   Xeplion® for schizophrenia.
           headlines in Mexican newspapers for several months:
           the  politician  wittingly  allowed  fake  chemotherapy
           medicines  for  children  to  be  administered  in  public
           hospitals. In December, hundreds of suspicious boxes of
           medicines were identified at the Benin deputy’s home.
           Cases such as these are a reminder that organized crime
           is often the rifest in the countries which are the most
           exposed to political and bureaucratic corruption.




            1  http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/drugalerts/en/

                                             FAKEMEDS MAGAZINE #01-2018
                                                            10
   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15