Counterfeit medicine trade targets Africa’s poor
Thursday, August 22, 2013
“Street medication kills. The street is killing (safe) medication,” declares a banner outside a pharmacy in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde, where the dangerous trade is rampant.
The market is saturated with counterfeit anti-malaria drugs, painkillers, antibiotics and even rehydration serum. No domain of the pharmaceutical industry is spared by illicit manufacturers and traffickers, according to reports gathered by AFP offices across Africa.
“That’s powerful Diclofenac (an anti-inflammatory), which is the bestseller,” says Blaise Djomo, a street vendor at Yaounde’s central market. “And this is Viagra, which Cameroonians are really wild about.”
About 100 traders like Djomo are set up under parasols in full view of everyone, their boxes heaped with medicines. Bubble-pack strips of pills are lined up in the wooden stalls.
- Health Care