Fight the fakes: a way to beat the $200bn medication counterfeiters

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By the time the teenage boy became standing in front of Bernice Bornman, feverish and delirious, it was already too late.


It wasn’t just malaria that becomes killing the 17-yr-old; it was the time he’d wasted taking fake medicine. The antimalarials did nothing to stop the disorder marching thru the younger Ghanaian’s frame: his organs were already shutting down. “He died waiting to be taken to a bigger coaching health facility for dialysis,” Dr. Bornmai informed the Guardian from the small sanatorium in Accra where she works as a senior scientific officer. “It changed into one of my saddest cases. However, I actually have misplaced other sufferers who could have survived due to fake drug treatments too.” It’s now not just a useless malaria remedy that may show fatal. Bornman’s patients have now and then taken counterfeit antibiotics that no longer simplest don’t fight the illness but also boom bacterial resistance to effective drug treatments.

“Sometimes I just throw up my arms when I see the results showing which antibiotics have a danger of operating – frequently they’ll be now not simply available or too costly,” the health practitioner says. “It makes my paintings irritating, and it approach sufferers should stay here longer at the same time as I look at.” When looking to forestall faux drugs stepping into the hands of unwell sufferers, specialists describe a tough assignment in which they’re continuously looking to stay one step ahead of counterfeiters. Law enforcement and regulation are needed, strong pharmaceutical regulation has to be in a location, and properly-trained healthcare experts are vital, explains Cynthia Genolet, an Africa policy professional on the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers. “You can’t get awareness on one unique size to be successful in this fight – it needs to be a holistic attempt,” she says.
Genet is a member of Fight the Fakes, a marketing campaign institution released in 2010 to elevate awareness of the trouble amongst pharmacists and enterprises. One tool campaigners desire may affect the harnessing of rising technologies inclusive of blockchain and synthetic intelligence that can assist in handling the complexity of the task handy.

A handful of recent startups are specializing in tracing medications on blockchain-kind technology, in addition to arming consumers with immediate information approximately what they’ve offered. The Nigerian start-up RxAll, as an example, has created a hand-held scanner that could determine the compound of a drug in real-time. The tool connects to a cloud-based total database of statistics of what the medication must contain, which then feeds lower back that records. “The information gathered is a spectral signature of the drug, and as soon as checked, the database sends returned records to an app on your cellphone,” explains Adebayo Alonge, one of the co-founders. The full-size information database is updated using an artificial intelligence algorithm. Natural medicine is a system that uses a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine. Alternative medicine is also known as traditional, naturopathic, natural, or holistic medicine.

Proponents of alternative medicine are not refuting the validity of discoveries in and the practical uses of conventional medicine but are merely trying to put some things into perspective. Due to the widespread interest in natural medicine along with the disappointment and disenchantment with Western medicine, many people, especially in the United States and Europe, where conventional medicine has taken a dominant foothold, are seeking advice and treatment from naturopathic physicians. These practitioners include herbalists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and others, who advocate preventative health measures and recommend wholesome foods and nutritional supplements for their patients and clients. Considering the growing popularity and effectiveness of alternative health treatments and products, certified and licensed professional practitioners of such medical practices should be given their rightful and respectful place in medical society. Natural medicine has been proven to be safe and more effective than Western medicine in treating many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and many other diseases.

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