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With the initiation of the Ethiopian government a new institution is to be established in Africa to control the trafficking and fabrication of fake drugs across the continent.
The organization which is set to stretch networks among African countries will register original production place of the drugs, their destination and expiry dates to easily identify counterfeit drugs.
The new organization which has yet to be accepted by the Africa Union, will work to overcome challenges in forecasting and distribution that results in limited availability of key pharmaceuticals in hospital, long procurement lead items, inaccuracy in record keeping, issues with the quality of forecasting data, wastage due to expiry and damages and theft of drugs.
Dr. Amir Aman, Minister of Health during the conference said that fake dugs are threating Africa and all stakeholders should work together to combat this challenges.
“Most African countries import their products from abroad and with this process fake drugs will also come along to the continent. So we have to do a big assignment to stop this by working together otherwise it will lead us to big problem in our health facilities.”
He added that the new institution will work with government bodies, distributors and manufacturers to stop fake drugs in Africa.
The conference is organized by GSI, the global supply chain standards organization, in partnership with the Ethiopian Food, Medicine and Healthcare Administration and Control Authority (EFMHACA).
Ulrke Kreysa, Senior Vice- President Healthcare at GSI said that Africa should learn from Turkey to combat counterfeit drugs. “GSI Standards and barcodes are tools that can help all supply chain partners, to ensure that patients receive effective and safe medicines,” he further added.
Yehulu Denekew, Director at EFMHACA said, “ensuring the quality and safety of pharmaceuticals requires utilization of appropriate standards, most importantly the Global standard.”
“Stopping fake dugs is not only one body task, it needs a coordinated effort, good recording system and control should be placed. Turkey is an exemplary country. African countries should strive hard to get good result for blocking the production and importation of counterfeit drugs.”
The presence of falsified medication is a huge threat to patients safety, especially in Africa. The world Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10 percent of medication distributed in low and middle- income countries could be falsified. Falsified medicines negatively impact patient safety, might lead to loss lives, will have economic impact and will result in less trust in the healthcare system.
An increasing list of studies and surveys about fake, counterfeit and substandard drugs has emerged in recent years, but because of deeply entrenched interests from all sides – governments, NGOs and pharmaceutical companies – there has been great reluctance to call the scourge of killer medications in Africa and elsewhere a crisis.
About 100,000 deaths/ year in Africa can be linked to counterfeit drug trade.
This is despite the fact that everything from life-saving Aids medication to emergency contraception are being copied, faked and made with shoddy components on a huge scale.
The ‘Track and trace for access to safe medicines conference’ was attended by over 150 regulatory bodies and international organizations and more than 340 participants.