According to the World Health Organization, 10% of prescription drugs are fake; the percentage is rising in developing countries. Richard Bergstrom shares an electronic system created to track down counterfeit drugs through unique serial numbers.
Fred Okuwu, a Tanzania investigative journalist, covers the drug counterfeiting industry; Okuwu received counterfeit antimalarials. Some chemists guarantee drug authenticity, but most people are forced to seek expensive prescriptions at state hospitals.
Counterfeit Medicines Laboratory Manager Wendy Greenall describes how Europe combats the drug problem. In Northern Uganda, there are local fake-drug producers who will harm those who try to expose their operation.
Interpol’s new international incentive IMPACT, led by Aline Plancon, recalls all antimalarials in Uganda. Diane Atwine, president of the Safe Medicines Unit, receives permission to search any premises for the fake drugs.
Credits: Taking Fakes
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The business of fake medicines and counterfeit drugs is said to be worth $75 billion a year. Developed-world health systems have been targeted, but life-saving drugs in the developing world are now being faked—with fatal results. We gained exclusive access to international counterfeit drug investigators to see the extent of the billion-dollar trade.
Length: 19 minutes
Copyright date: ©2010
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