Two WHO reports released on Tuesday estimated that roughly 10.5% of medicines being sold in Low and Middle Income countries (LMIC) could be substandard or falsified.
Hence, they concluded, the size of the dubious drugs market in these countries at about $30 billion. However experts slammed the basis for these estimates and said they were grossly exaggerated.
While substandard medicines have been a matter of concern in many countries, several member states are expressing concern with the findings, especially the estimation of prevalence of substandard and falsified medical products in Low and Middle Income countries using an “unscientific methodology”, said a statement issued by Third World Network (TWN), a transnational alternative policy group aimed at strengthening cooperation among countries of the Global South.
Of the two reports, one was on the cases reported to the WHO’s Global Surveillance and Monitoring System (GSMS) for dubious drugs launched in July 2013.
The cases reported between 2013 and 2016 were categorised under various heads such as “falsified”, “suspected falsified”, “substandard”, “diverted”, “stolen” and “unlicensed” medical products.
However, after the World Health Assembly decided in 2016 to categorise compromised medicines as “substandard” and “falsified” and adopted working definitions for the same, the Global Surveillance and Monitoring System cases appear to have been automatically categorised as one of these two, said Third World Network.
Source: The Times of India.