An estimated one in every 10 medical products circulating in low and middle-income countries are either substandard or counterfeit.
According to a new report by the World Health Organisation, about 10.5 per cent of products in these countries fail to treat or prevent disease.
“In every ten medical products that are sold in the market, at least one does not attain standards that are set and is falsified. This means that people are taking medicines that cannot prevent or cure diseases that they are manufactured to fight,” read the report.
The report that was released in November, indicated that the counterfeit medical products are not only a waste of money for those who purchase them, but can also cause serious illness or even death.
“Substandard and falsified medicines particularly affect the most vulnerable communities,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO DirectorGeneral during the release.
“Imagine a mother who gives up food or other basic needs to pay for her child’s treatment, unaware that the medicines are substandard or falsified, and then that treatment causes her child to die.”
Since 2013, WHO has received 1,500 reports of cases of substandard or falsified products. Out of the falsified products, antimalarial drugs and antibiotics are the most commonly reported.