The control of fake pharmaceuticals needs to be a public health priority in South East Asia, where expired medicine, counterfeit medicine and unqualified medical practitioners have become commonplace.
Its an issue I’m deeply passionate about. For over XXXX years, I’ve been investigating the flow of illegal medicine throughout the region, working alongside police and health authorities to identify and stop the trade were possible.
I’m very proud of the results we’ve achieved, but Cambodia is a clear example of a system that needs change. Its high time that pharmacies and clinics got serious about the storage of medicine, and that those who sell illegal medicine get more than a ‘slap on the wrists’. Substandard pharmacies and clinics need to be shut down, including those that employ unqualified staff and those who’ve ‘borrowed’ a pharmaceutical qualification.
Its also time that all pharmaceutical companies take illegal medicine seriously. These efforts needs to be in conjunction with stronger tangible action by multilateral organisations such as the UNODC, WHO and WTO. Governments and regional bodies like ASEAN also need to act decisively to ensure the public is protected through an effective system of supply chain regulation and control.
Read more about my seven recommendations at the latest SMCS Risk Blog Post