Africa’s counterfeit pharmaceutical epidemic: the road ahead

Fenoff, R. S., & Wilson, J. M. (2009). Africa’s counterfeit pharmaceutical epidemic: the road ahead.

Widespread infectious diseases coupled with pervasive poverty make the developing countries on the African continent particularly vulnerable to harm from counterfeit drugs, which now constitute more than 30 percent of all medicines sold in Africa, including up to 70 percent of drugs sold in Nigeria. Despite the tangible risk the problem represents, little is known about its true prevalence and impact, supply and demand, existing prevention and intervention strategies and their effectiveness, and other issues critical to understanding its nature and to developing evidence-based strategies to address it. While not a definitive account, this paper is put forward to introduce the topic of pharmaceutical counterfeiting in Africa by highlighting information gathered from open sources, as a means of generating discussion about the next steps to combat the crime, and their consequences.