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Substandard medicines: a greater problem than counterfeit medicines?

Sammons, Helen M.; Choonara, Imti

Authors

Helen M. Sammons helen.sammons@nottingham.ac.uk

Imti Choonara imti.choonara@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

Substandard medicines are medicines which have failed to pass the quality measurements and standards set for them.1 They should be distinguished from counterfeit (falsified) medicines which are deliberately and fraudulently mislabelled. Combining the two together however is not helpful. They are different problems that require different solutions. Substandard and counterfeit medicines are a widespread problem in low-income and lower–middle-income countries. A systematic review showed that the median prevalence of substandard and counterfeit medicines was 28.5%.1 This ranged from 11% to 48% in individual studies. The 15 studies were all limited to antimicrobial drugs, with the majority (13) including antimalarials. Only 2 of the 15 studies within the systematic review differentiated between substandard and counterfeit medicines. Both studies involved antimalarial drugs in South East Asia. They both found that counterfeit medicines were a greater problem than substandard medicines. The biggest problem in relation to the quality of the medicines tested was an inadequate amount of the active ingredient.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 1, 2017
Journal BMJ Paediatrics Open
Electronic ISSN 2399-9772
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 1
Article Number e000007
APA6 Citation Sammons, H. M., & Choonara, I. (2017). Substandard medicines: a greater problem than counterfeit medicines?. BMJ Paediatrics Open, 1(1), doi:10.1136/bmjpo-2017-000007
DOI https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjpo-2017-000007
Publisher URL http://bmjpaedsopen.bmj.com/content/1/1/bmjpo-2017-000007
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0





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