Today, modern medical advances have turned once-fatal diseases into treatable and curable conditions. Yet, the promise of life-saving treatments falls short when patients cannot rely on the safety and quality of available medicines.
This is also an issue that affects nearly all of the world’s health priorities – efforts to combat and eliminate infectious diseases, reduce maternal and child mortality, treat chronic conditions and achieve universal health coverage – depend on medical products being safe and effective when they reach patients.
According to the World Health Organization’s recently-launched landmark report, an estimated one in 10 medicines in low- and middle-income countries is poor-quality.
Although poor-quality medicines disproportionately impact the poorest and most marginalized communities, the global nature of the pharmaceutical supply chain means that every country is affected.
What are poor-quality medicines?
Poor-quality medicines fall into two categories:
Falsified: deliberately or fraudulently misrepresent their identity, composition or source
Substandard: containing toxic ingredients or too little of the right ones to be effective