Poor quality and fake medicines are a real threat that could undermine years of successful efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, according to 17 articles in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Up to 41% of specimens failed to meet quality standards in global studies of about 17,000 drug samples. One article reports the discovery of falsified and substandard malaria drugs that caused an estimated 122,350 deaths in African children in 2013.
Policy proposals to address the growing global problem of fake medicines include a global agreement, similar to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and stricter national laws to prosecute those who knowingly sell counterfeit medicines. Do you think these steps will be successful?