“WHO estimates that one out of 10 medicines in the world is fake but the figure can be as high as seven in certain countries, especially in Africa…”
World Economic Forum estimates the selling of illicit counterfeit medicine has a turnover of at least 10% of the world pharmaceutical business, meaning that it earns tens of billions of dollars a year, and that figure has nearly tripled in five years.
The ailing poor are more numerous in Africa than anywhere in the world and are therefore the main clientele.” said Marc Gentilini, an expert on infectious and tropical diseases and a former head of the French Red Cross.
Examples of the scourge of counterfeit medicine in Africa:
A huge market in Abidjan, Kenya; is selling counterfeit medicine, and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world’s poorest continent.
Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast’s main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time.
“This phenomenon is spreading: its financial attractiveness draws criminal organisations of all sizes,” he said [Geoffroy Bessaud]
“An investment of $1,000 (Sh102,895) can bring returns of up to $500,000 (Sh51.4 million) while for the same kind of investment in the heroin trade or in counterfeit money the amount will be around $20,000 (Sh2 million).”
Experts have called for a global fight against the scourge.