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The Global Threat of Counterfeit Drugs: Why Industry and Governments Must Communicate the Dangers

  • Robert Cockburn equal contributor mail,

    equal contributor Contributed equally to this work with: Robert Cockburn, Paul N Newton

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: rcockburn@libero.it

  • Paul N Newton equal contributor,

    equal contributor Contributed equally to this work with: Robert Cockburn, Paul N Newton

  • E. Kyeremateng Agyarko,
  • Dora Akunyili,
  • Nicholas J White
  • Published: March 14, 2005
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0020100

Reader Comments (3)

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The complex problem of Fake Drugs Epidemic

Posted by plosmedicine on 30 Mar 2009 at 23:40 GMT

Author: E.O. Duque-Estrada
Position: Prof
Institution: Teresopolis School of Medicine, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
E-mail: Duque@cremerj.com.br
Submitted Date: March 16, 2005
Published Date: March 17, 2005
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

The production of fake drugs is a real biggest and underreported problem, particularly affecting poorer countries. Poverty and low educational levels are decisive factors in the spread of the drugs epidemic among some population groups, like poor Brazilians.
The prices charged by the transnational pharmaceutical companies are excessively high and are threatening countries health programs, including Brazil. The polarized debate over the effects of free trade has become a fixture of world politics. All this good-versus-evil rhetoric obscures one key fact: while globalization has benefited many rich countries and, need a strong support to help a poor societies in the new international system.
The question is, how can they be helped the poor countries? Their work forces are not skilled enough and their economic institutions not sufficiently supportive of investment or innovation to take advantage of the knowledge they do have. As a result, a few research and low drug product take place.
The aim is to produce the drugs in Brazil, e.g., and the government has laboratories that are equipped to do so, but the taxes are so high also. The Brazilian final price addition include Importation tax (II), social taxes (PIS/CONFINS) and another profits from drug distribution and pharmacists. Brazilian Government with drug regulatory authority - ANVISA, fight to the false certification, wholesalers and retailers to report drug offers, to intent Rx and OTC sales like a real common sense with the quality of the drug supply in their country.
For the last years, global finance, trade, and development, and the cultivation of overseas relationships to advance Brazil interests in these areas, were not given the priority that they generally received in the preceding half-century. During this time, the Brazil had intense policy interactions not just with USA, European Union and Japan, but also increasingly with all emerging countries in Latin America, eastern Europe, and Asia. The negotiation its the main important concern to obtain to the people in the developing world, the real medicines and treatments to live in Latin America, Caribbean, and the poor world.
It is no mystery why the last Brazilian Presidents has subordinated global Economic issues in the hierarchy of his concerns, but under Brazilian law, the international patents must be regarded, except in case of health emergencies, like the AIDS epidemic. This is known as "Anti-HIV drugs compulsory licensing", which gained recognition by the World Trade Organization (WTO) after a Brazilian-led campaign by a number of developing countries and international non-governmental organizations.
The final lesson it is: the public authorities must be heavily on economic analysis to support new pharmaceutical research and plants, and their main conclusions accessible to noneconomists, and health agents to reduce the growth of fake drugs.

Competing interests declared: Ie declare that I have no competing interests.