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‘Antimalarial, antibiotics, most falsified drugs in developing countries’

By Adaku Onyenucheya
16 August 2018   |   4:32 am
A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has revealed that antimalarial and antibiotics are medicines most commonly sold in substandard or falsified conditions in developing countries.

National Secretary, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Pharm. Emeka Duru(left); Publisher Pharmanews, Pharm. Ifeanyi Atueyi; President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai and President, Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Francis Adedayo during the NMA courtesy visit of the Pharmacy house to end the inter-professional rivalry in the health sector…recently. PHOTO: ADAKU ONYENUCHEYA

• PSN, NMA resolve to end interprofessional rivalry
A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has revealed that antimalarial and antibiotics are medicines most commonly sold in substandard or falsified conditions in developing countries.

The researchers, who analyzed 96 previous studies of falsified and substandard medicines in the paper published in the journal JAMA Network Open on August 10, as each of the studies tested more than 50 medications, disclosed that 19 percent of antimalarial and 12 percent of antibiotics are substandard or falsified marketed in low- and middle-income countries.

An Associate Professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Sachiko Ozawa, who led the research along with collaborators, said, “Our study shows that a concerted global effort is needed to improve supply chain management for medicines and to identify solutions to this understudied issue.”The team’s analysis found limited information on the economic impact of poor quality medicines, with the estimates of market size ranging widely from $10 billion to $200 billion.

“Substandard and falsified medicines can burden health systems by diverting resources to ineffective or harmful therapies and cause additional treatment costs and reduced worker productivity due to treatable illnesses, but these effects have not been measured.

The study emphasised that strengthening the global supply chain against poor quality medicines will improve health outcomes by reducing antimicrobial and anti-parasitic resistance and ultimately help governments, businesses and patients save money.”

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) have resolved end the age-long inter-professional rivalry between the medical doctors and pharmacists in the health sector.The President of NMA, Dr. Francis Adedayo and its PSN counterpart, Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai made the resolution to end the rivalry among the healthcare professionals when the executive members of the medical body paid a courtesy visit to the Pharmacy House in Lagos.

The two major professional bodies in the health sector appraised the age-long rivalry, which they agreed have drawn back the sector and even diverted attention from the germane issue of poor budgetary allocation by both Federal and state governments to the health sector. Adebayo pointed out that the Yayale Ahmed Presidential Committee of Experts on Professional Relationships, which he described as “ very biased and one-sided” has been the major reason for the discourse between the two bodies.

He stated that the report, which has been rejected by the medical body, only seeks to further marginalise and compromise the future of generations of their members who will be permanently made sub-servient to their contemporaries in medicine. Adebayo said the discourse between the professional bodies, which also include remuneration, interference with each other’s profession among others, have been the bane of effective health care delivery in the nation’s health sector.

On his part the PSN President, Yakasai said he was pleased with the decision to end the rivalry, which he said has scared many health professionals in the diaspora from coming back to the country to contribute their quota to the health system.

He said, he would direct members of the pharmaceutical technical team to withdraw all court cases leveled against the medical professionals for there to be peace and workable environment for both members.We need to withdraw all court cases between the doctors and pharmacists and also any technical group because our constitution has the power to talk to our technical group, if the court cases are withdrawn that would douse a lot of tension and bring back people to have confidence in the health profession,” he said

Both leaders agreed that the inter-professional friction has done more harm than good and declared it is high time to bury the hatchet for the good of the patients, which both doctors and pharmacists and other healthcare providers have pledged their commitment to.They, however, agreed to put in place committees to draw up a checklist of issues responsible for the rivalry and explore ways of jaw-jawing to resolve the problem with a view to improving healthcare delivery in the country.