Local Director of Pharmacies Name asked to be withheld Nigeria
"It's not easy, there are constant threats and powerful consequences. Death threats. We are trying to take an innovative approach to enforcement, and some of our initiatives have been successful. I have tried very hard to stop the trade of counterfeit and sub-standard drugs. I know what these fake drugs do; I put my all into this... My daughter was expecting a baby. She went to the hospital and counterfeits killed her."
Counterfeit pharmaceutical sales represent big money and kill a lot of people. The worldwide trade of fake medications is estimated at over 75 billion dollars a year. In developing nations where malaria is endemic the economic stakes surrounding the sale of false anti-malarials is extremely high and the personal toll immense. Many have family members who have died because of these fraudulent pills. The WHO estimates that up to 20% of yearly malaria deaths are the result of counterfeit or substandard medication. There are also cases where the criminals who make and deal counterfeits have taken extreme and deadly measures to avoid being brought to justice.
Those who take action against the counterfeiters are often targeted with threats, some have even been murdered. And to make matters worse, even when these drug traffickers are caught, their punishments are, on average, essentially a slap on the wrist. The light punishments are shocking when one considers they are pedaling faulty drugs that are directly responsible for millions of deaths.