Counterfeit medicines pose a significant danger to public health in
developing as well as developed countries. Counterfeit medicines may be distributed through
different channels such as government and private hospitals, pharmacies or other
legitimate or illegitimate distributors. Licensed distributors, pharmacists, health care
providers or patients may be unable to detect or differentiate between counterfeit and genuine medicines.
It has been difficult to assess the extent of the problem of counterfeit
medicines in many settings because of the lack of resources/skills to detect counterfeit
medicines, the absence or weak medicines regulatory systems, the different definitions of counterfeit medicines in different countries worldwide, as well as the
variations in the distribution systems. As such the actual extent of the problem may vary from country to country.
Taking this situation into account, a questionnaire (annex 2B) was developed
based on the “data collection tool for the review of national situations concerning counterfeit medicines” (annex 2). This report is the outcome of the
implementation of the tool in 14 African countries (8 in phase I and 6 in phase II) and 13
Eastern Mediterranean countries. The findings from the survey provide a quick overview
of the situation of counterfeit medicines in the countries surveyed and form the
basis for recommending appropriate interventions at national, regional and
international levels to combat this global menace...