One in 10 medicines fake; diseases becoming untreatable: WHO

  • An estimated one in 10 medical products circulating in low- and middle-income countries like India is either “substandard or falsified”, says a new research report from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

More details on the report:

  • According to WHO, these medicines not only fail to treat or prevent diseases but can also cause serious illness or even death.
  • “Substandard and falsified medicines particularly affect the most vulnerable communities.
  • The report highlighted that since 2013, the WHO has received 1,500 reports of cases of substandard or falsified products. Of these, antimalarials and antibiotics are the most commonly reported.
  • Most of such reports (42 per cent) come from the WHO African Region, 21 per cent from the WHO Region of the Americas, and 21 per cent from the WHO European Region.
  • “This is likely just a small fraction of the total problem and many cases may be going unreported.
  • For example, only 8 per cent of reports of substandard or falsified products to WHO came from the WHO Western Pacific Region, 6 per cent from the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, and just 2 per cent from the WHO South-East Asia Region.
  • The report further says that substandard or falsified medicines promote antimicrobial resistance in people.

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