Global Community Must Take Action Against Counterfeit Medicine

STAT: It’s time to stop murder by counterfeit medicine
Joel G. Breman, senior scientist emeritus at the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health and president-elect of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

“…According to the WHO, 1 in 10 medical products in developing countries is falsified or substandard. … Poor-quality antimicrobials are most often found in low-income countries. In addition to failing to treat infection, they also contribute to the evolution of antimicrobial resistance … [I]t’s time for a multilateral international treaty targeting counterfeit drug crime and promoting detection, apprehension, extradition, and punishment of the criminals and cartels that make, sell, and distribute fake drugs — rather than letting them off easy, as now occurs for fake and substandard drug crime. Delays in providing technologies, protocols, and laws to guard against falsified and substandard drugs will contribute to preventable tragedies around the world as well as allowing antimicrobial resistance to increase and spread” (5/7).