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Approximately 10 percent of all medicines found in low- and middle-income countries are either substandard or falsified, ranging from cancer drugs and contraceptives to antibiotics and anti-malarial treatments. And the problem is almost evenly split between patented brand-name drugs and generics, according to new reports from the World Health Organization.

Moreover, the agency maintained there is a tremendous cost – about $30 billion is spent on such medicines.


A model developed by the University of Edinburgh also estimated that 72,000 to 169,000 children may die each year from pneumonia due to substandard and falsified antibiotics. Another model by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimated 64,000 to 158,000 additional deaths from malaria may be caused each year by problematic anti-malarial drugs in sub-Saharan Africa. And this may cost anywhere from $21.4 million to $52.4 million for health care needed due to failed treatments.

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  • The same companies that oppose imports also opposed serialization for years, which was to keep the US supply chain safe. Amazingly selective attention … as well as blindness to the falsified meds in the US supply chain already, ‘both domestic and imported.’

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