The Fight the Fakes 2020 campaign aims to draw attention to the problem of substandard and falsified medicines around the world. Fake drugs are dangerous, increase patient mortality and morbidity and can increase drug resistance. Jennifer Bonnah, Fleming Fund Fellow and Pharmacist at the Food and Drugs Authority of Ghana highlights why these drugs are a problem and how the public can combat fake drugs.
The Fleming Fund commits £1m to improving the detection of substandard and falsified medicines
The Fleming Fund is delighted to announce a new £1m investment to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) to improve the identification of substandard and falsified medicines.
Substandard and falsified (SF) medicines are a major cause of growing drug-resistance in a number of diseases. Therefore, finding technologies that can detect these medicines can help reduce this risk. The presence of SF medical products in countries, and their use by patients, impacts our ability to effectively tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Further investigation of SF medicine use is needed, both to understand the true scale of AMR as well as, how much they may be contributing to the growing resistance.
Many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) do not have access to central laboratory facilities that can test the quality of medicines. Therefore, field-based screening technologies offer the opportunity for LMICs to be better able to tackle the SF medicines and AMR.
For this reason, the Fleming Fund is investing in FIND to undertake an assessment of the current practices for identification and run a pilot evaluation study of field-based screening technologies in Laos.
This new investment compliments the current Fleming Fund grant to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on addressing the global challenge of SF medicines. Through improving surveillance and detection of SF medicines, it is possible to optimise the use of medicines and in turn reduce the threat of AMR.
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