Fake and poor quality drugs: a crisis in Africa.
By Dayana Rojas
A recent article in the United Kingdom’s newspaper The Guardian brought attention to the persistent problem of counterfeit and substandard drugs in Africa and other economically poor countries. Although it says that this article is meant to warn scientists of the foul play that the poor people of Africa are enduring due a lack of resources, I believe it does a marvelous job of illuminating the topic of counterfeit and substandard medicines all over the world. According to the article, malaria kills a million people every year. Substandard drugs are hazardous because they ultimately lead to drug resistance, making this disease that much more powerful. While there are efforts being made to stop the production and distribution of these fakes, it is very difficult for poorer countries to prevail because of their faulty regulatory authorities. This article serves as a much needed call to arms for the affected African nations and other low income countries with similar issues. These places need help with the regulation of drug import and export, drug manufacturing and all things healthcare related. It is vital that developed countries and international agencies increase efforts to aid developing countries in combating this problem. The responsibility for enhancing drug monitoring also lies in illicit manufacturing countries such as China, which exports a large quantity of these counterfeit or substandard medications. With the help of scientists, new technologies and regulations, these developing nations will finally be able to move forward!