Posts Tagged “Benin”

A pledge to respond to falsified and substandard health products in francophone Africa

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A pledge to respond to falsified and substandard health products in francophone Africa

Twenty-five countries and 10 international organizations have pledged to respond to falsified and substandard medicines in French-speaking Africa.

On the sidelines of the 71st session of the World Health Assembly on 22 May, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and UNAIDS, in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the Fondation Chirac, hosted a conference entitled Access to Quality Medicines and Other Medical Products in Francophone Africa, which brought together nearly 400 participants, including a number of health ministers. They adopted a declaration with commitments to advance access for all, especially the poorest, to assured-quality health products.

Thousands of people die each year because of falsified or substandard medicines, especially in many African countries, where up to seven out of 10 medicines don’t meet the quality standards required by international health regulatory agencies.

“Finding ways and means for better access to quality medicines and medical products in developing countries, especially in Africa, at all costs is now an emergency because, despite conventional international measures, the intensifying scourge of falsified medicines continues to wreak havoc among the poor,” said Patrice Talon, the President of Benin.

Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, agreed. He said, “There is an urgent need…

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Benin jails 7 pharma executives in ‘fake drugs’ trial

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Benin jails 7 pharma executives in ‘fake drugs’ trial

A court in Benin on Tuesday jailed seven local pharmaceutical executives for four years on charges of selling illicit medicines after a trial that breaks new ground in West Africa’s campaign against fake drugs.

The seven were convicted of “the sale of falsified medicines, display, possession with a view to selling, commercialisation or sale of falsified medical substances.” They work for wholesale pharmaceutical distribution companies, five of which — GAPOB, Ubipharm, CAME, Ubephar and Promo Pharma — dominate the sector in Benin. They were also fined 100 million CFA francs ($190,000, 150,000 euros), a lawyer for civil plaintiffs told AFP after the trial, describing the sum as “token.” Two other defendants were given six-month terms. They were aides to an opposition MP, Atao Hinnouho, who has fled.

A 10th defendant, the head of the Directorate for Pharmacies, Medications and Diagnostic Evaluation (DPMED) under the control of the ministry of health, was released. He had been accused of failing to prevent the drugs from being sold. Benin is fighting against its reputation for being the crossroads for trafficking in expired and counterfeit drugs in West Africa — a business that has deeply alarmed health watchdogs. President Patrice Talon, elected in 2016,…

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Fake medicines flourish in Africa despite killing thousands

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There’s nothing covert about Roxy — a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world’s poorest continent.

Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast’s main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt.

But it resurfaces every time.

“The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines,” said Mariam, one of the many mainly illiterate vendors who hawk everything from painkillers and antibiotics to anti-malaria and anti-retroviral treatments.

“When we are harassed we always come to an arrangement with them to resume our activities,” she said.

Fatima, another hawker, said: “Many people come here with their prescriptions to buy medicine, even the owners of private clincs.”

She said there was a “syndicate” controlling the sector that held regular meetings to fix prices and supply levels.

Fake medicines bring about some 100,000 deaths a year in the continent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The illicit sector has a turnover of at least 10 percent of the world pharmaceutical business, meaning that it earns tens of billions of dollars a year,…

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