Fake medicines market worth over €400 billion, more profitable than narcotics – Health expert laments

The Country Director of PharmAccess, Dr Maxwell Antwi, has revealed that more than a quarter of all medicines sold in Ghana are either fake or substandard.

According to him, the presence of these substandard medicines have had adverse effects on the African continent, as 100,000 lives have perished.

“An estimated 30% of medicines in Ghana are fake or substandard, leading to treatment failures, negative side effects, antimicrobial resistances and spread of diseases and unnecessary deaths.

“Do we know that the fake medicines market is worth over €400 billion, which is more profitable than narcotics? Do we know that 100,000 deaths happen on the African continent due to fake and substandard medicine?” he quizzed.

Speaking at a fundraising event held to finance Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) facilities on the Med4all platform in Accra, he indicated that Ghana ranks sixth among countries with the highest burden of fake medicines in a report by the European Union (EU).

Dr Maxwell Antwi also revealed a study carried out in Kintampo in the Bono East Region showed that four out of ten medicines sold in the town are either fake or substandard.

“Another study on anti-malaria in Ghana showed that 13 out of 14 tested antimycin-based anti-malaria contain either an overdose or another dose,” he added.

The Health Director lamented about the high cost of some medicines being sold in the country.

“The price of penicillin in Ghana is seven times that on the NHS in the UK. While this has negative implications for Healthcare facilities and legitimate pharmaceutical manufacturers and suppliers, it is patients in Ghana who pay the ultimate price,” he said.

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