As a malaria professional, you are probably aware of the unfolding tragedy with counterfeit drugs. Either completely fake (drugs containing nothing more than chalk, washing powder, or even brake fluid) or substandard (not containing enough active ingredient) or outdated drugs are flooding the African market on an ever-increasing scale.
Experts like Professors Paul Newton and Nick White have been ringing the alarm bells for years, but in spite of their efforts the problem is getting worse by the day. Read 'Phake', the excellent book on the subject by Roger Bate, and you will appreciate how serious the situation has become...
The general public is, by and large, completely unaware of this situation. Whoever I talk to, people are completely surprised and respond with utter disbelief that this is happening. That criminals in Asia are producing counterfeit anti-malarials and make huge profits on these whilst doing nothing less than murdering innocent African children that receive this bogus medication.
During a board meeting of the Dutch Malaria Foundation we concluded that this has to stop. We cannot let this happen in a world in which we are all working so hard to make malaria a thing of the past.
And so we decided to generate support from the general public. People around the world need to know about this tragedy and take action. Action to call upon the governments of India and China where most of these counterfeit drugs are produced. Action so that they will step up efforts to stop these criminals from producing fake drugs, action so that they will step up efforts to ensure that only high-quality drugs leave their countries for export to Africa and beyond. We therefore made the following movie:
If we don't take action now, we will definitely run into problems with drug resistance because some producers put just enough active ingredients in their drugs to pass tests but insufficient active ingredient to clear an infection in a sick person. The perfect recipe for drug resistance development. See the animation below for a full story on fake drugs:
So...let's hear your voice. Speak up against this crime. And sign the petition online at www.fakedrugskill.org
We are a large global community of malaria professionals. Together we can change the world, so please...
Thank you. Thank you on behalf of the millions of African children that each time they have malaria become part of a Russian roulette. As much as 30% of all malaria drugs traded in Africa are fake. In some places as much as 80% of the drugs sold on the streets are completely fake.
Your friends, family, colleagues, and all your contacts through social media: Please direct them to www.fakedrugskill.org
Willem van Prooijen, Chairman
On behalf of the entire Board of the Dutch Malaria Foundation