Report of the Situation of Counterfeit Medicines Based on Data Collection Tool. WHO Regions for Africa and Eastern Mediterranean
(2010; 27 pages)


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...

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