Wednesday, May 21, 2008

EA awash in bogus malaria medicine, says study

From the (Nairobi, Kenya) East African:
Roughly one-third of the malaria drugs sold at chemists in East Africa’s capital cities are ineffective, a new study has foundTests on a total of 195 packs of malaria medicines bought in Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Kigali, Nairobi and two West African cities showed that 35 per cent either lacked sufficient amounts of active ingredients or did not dissolve quickly enough to work.

The incidence of ineffective drugs was highest in Kenya, with 38 per cent of the 42 packets purchased in Nairobi found to be sub-standard.

Tanzania’s rate was lowest, at 32 per cent, followed by Rwanda, a 33 per cent and Uganda, at 35 per cent.The malaria drugs most likely to fail quality tests were those manufactured in Africa, researchers said.

Nearly half of those medicines were found to be deficient, compared with 24 per cent of drugs of European origin.

The comparative weakness of regulatory systems in Africa may account for the difference, researchers suggest.They also report that 33 per cent of the tested packets contained only artemisinin, an anti-malarial agent produced in China and regarded as an especially promising treatment. ...more

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