Thursday, May 28, 2009

When health turns into commerce!

Counterfeit medication is an inhumane vicious commerce that is growing rapidly. The WHO defines counterfeit medicine as one that is “deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled with respect to identity and/or source. Counterfeiting can apply to both branded and generic products and counterfeit products may include products with the correct ingredients or with the wrong ingredients, without active ingredients, with insufficient active ingredients or with fake packaging.”
This commerce seems to be growing in the Arab World (UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, to name a few).
Lebanon’s National Health Commission testified in 2004 that 35% of pharmaceuticals obtainable in Lebanon were counterfeit. Several physicians discovered that their patients suffering from chronic (and often serious) illnesses were being treated with counterfeit medicines. Cancer medications turned out to be water, blood thinners were discovered to be powder. These are only examples. As a result, public awareness campaigns to suppress the rise of such drugs were launched.
Are awareness campaigns enough? Obviously not since counterfeit drugs as still being produced and patients and doctors still falling a prey to avid murderous money lovers. When people start treating the lives of others as commodities, much more than campaigns are needed. Failing to do that is partaking in crime.

A report from KSA: Jaridat alriadh: الأدوية المغشوشة تهدد حياة المرضى

A report from Syria: Syrian Observtory of Human Rights: الأدوية المزورة في سوريا

A report from UAE arabian buisiness: الإمارات تصعّد مكافحة تهريب الأدوية المزيفة

A report from Lebanon al Akhbar: من يغطي مافيا الأدوية المزورة؟

A report from Jordan alawsati: الغذاء والدواء تضبط 8500 عبوة دواء مزور ومهرب

The WHO has posted "Guidelines for the development of measures to combat counterfeit medicines":