Fake medicines: It can happen to anyone

Friday, April 25, 2014

As nurses, we deliver up to 80 percent of all health care services worldwide so it is crucial we are aware of the potential risks to patient safety, particularly those difficult to detect.

Fake medicines are thus a real concern for us because of their ability to compromise the efforts we put into delivering the best possible care to our patients and the populations we protect from diseases like malaria.

A real life example of how fake medicines can compromise safety is the story of Victoria Amponsah. She was diagnosed with malaria when she was two months pregnant. As any patient would, she used a prescription to purchase medicine from her local pharmacy in Accra, Ghana, believing it to be safe and effective. Instead, her condition quickly deteriorated and she was admitted to a hospital, soon learning that she had been sold a counterfeit drug. Today, Victoria and her son are lucky to be alive and healthy. Her ordeal is just one among thousands of similar stories we see in our daily work.

So as health care professionals striving to ensure the welfare of our patients and facing the challenge of fake medicines, we constantly wonder what else can be done to ensure our patients are not put at risk.

Source: Devex (link opens in a new window)

Health Care