Substandard antimalarials ‘widespread’ in some African nations

Substandard antimalarials ‘widespread’ in some African nations

Yojana Sharma, Science and Development Network

Nearly a third of anti-malaria medicines available in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania are substandard and possibly counterfeit, according to the latest WHO survey of antimalarials, released today (25 February).

One in ten samples shows “extreme'” deviations in active ingredients or other standards — which could have life-threatening implications, says the survey.

The highest incidence of failure was in Nigeria, with two-thirds of all samples failing WHO quality tests.

“That means in Nigeria a patient is more likely to be treated with a substandard drug than one which meets quality specifications,” said Lembit Rägo, the WHO’s coordinator for quality assurance and medicines safety.

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