Africa rallies against counterfeits

Speaking of supply chain complexity, the more than 10,000 traders in the streets and markets of portions of Africa, sold counterfeit drugs to 85 percent of the population, says Laurent Assogbathe, head of the state health protection agency, in Benin, West Africa.

Former French president Jacques Chirac, Assogbathe, and other African leaders decried the thousands of pharmacies, market stalls and street peddlers that sell the cheap, counterfeit drugs, according to a Reuters report. The World Health Organization says that fake drugs for just one disease--malaria--kill 100,000 Africans annually.

Chirac, who heads the Chirac Foundation, rallied the leaders of Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Central African Republic, Congo-Republic and Senegal to educate the public and fight the manufacturing and sale of fake pharmaceutical products in both public and private initiatives.

Big pharma has been fighting the good fight: most watch for illegal drug-trafficking and pass information to law enforcement agencies, says an Isria report, quoting Time. Merck, for example, is providing funds for minilabs to help developing countries detect fake ingredients in malaria, HIV and tuberculosis drugs.

- read the Reuters item
- here's the Isria report