An investigation has revealed that there are fake medicines syndicate that puts lives of thousands of sick Kenyans at risk is thriving in the country.Most of these medicines are counterfeit, expired or concoctions without any active medical ingredients.According to the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting (Impac) Taskforce, the concoctions contain rat poison, mercury, lead, boric acid, paints, brick-dust, floor wax and other life-threatening foreign bodies. Such poisons cause kidney failure, cancer, developmental defects, strokes, high blood pressure and other health complications.
The sale of bad drugs in Kenya is actually a reality.Post-marketing survey in the country is extremely poor making it easy for porous drugs to be smuggled into the country.Greedy briefcase salesmen take advantage of this and can smuggle and sell drugs to non-licensed pharmacy kiosks and clinics ran by non-professionals.The main target is fast-moving drugs from multinational companies as opposed to chronic diseases medication.Kenya is one of the 11 African countries selling counterfeit anti-malaria drugs.
Global estimates indicate that trade in counterfeit goods is roughly seven to eight per cent of world trade. Counterfeiting is a deliberate criminal activity to conceal identity of a drug.Kenya’s economy loses about Sh70 billion annually to counterfeits.Anti Counterfeiting Agency has rolled out a campaign against counterfeit drugs in the country.We can only hope that this problem will be solved and that counterfeit drugs will be elevated from the Kenyan market.