SA needs to tighten controls on substandard and counterfeit medicines. Here’s how...

A lack of legislation against specific pharmaceutical crimes handicaps law enforcement, writes David R Katerere and Rethabile Joyce Moshoeshoe.

21 November 2021 - 00:00 By David R Katerere and Rethabile Joyce Moshoeshoe

Substandard and counterfeit medicines can be extremely dangerous. They are fraudulently manufactured (https://www.who.int/medicines/services/counterfeit/Surveyonterminology.pdf) to deceive buyers about their quality, authenticity and effectiveness. These medicines don’t meet quality and regulatory standards.

Such medicines are usually manufactured by highly organised criminal groups (https://www.acsh.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/20090202_counterfeitdrug09.pdf) that are often involved in cross-border trafficking. The products can be bought online, in tuck shops or at street markets. Sometimes they find their way into legitimate supply chains, cropping up in registered pharmacies and hospitals...

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