by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
According to Wealth Health Organisation, “it is estimated that as many as one million people die every year worldwide from ingesting counterfeit medication”. The estimation indicates such medication use are not safe and pose life-long health problems which can lead to death.
While this has become a threat to some, there are many who still value counterfeit products. In and around the city of Port Moresby, counterfeit products have become hope for many. It has now become a business activity for many and everywhere around the city, counterfeit products ranging from garden tools, kitchen, stationary, clothing and health medications are sold out cheaply without proper approval.
Such acts easily pose greater lifelong effects and selling unauthorised health medications like Amoxicillin and Panadol on the street is far more dangerous as consumers buying the product do not consider its effects. According to World Health Organisation, “counterfeiting of medicine is a hugely lucrative business due to high demand and low production cost”.
One of the possible factors that encourage the production of counterfeit medicine is the absence of deterrent legislation in the countries. This makes the producers and sellers not fear prosecution.
With the objective of helping to cut down this illegal activity, World Health Organisation is supporting countries “to strengthen pharmaceutical legislation, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), national drug regulatory capacity and performance, to promote information exchange among drug regulatory authorities and to strengthen drug procurement”.
It is working with countries supporting them to execute effective measures that could help cut down this illegal business – the production and selling of counterfeit medication. The responsibility now falls on individuals and precautions should be taken when purchasing medication.