The World Health Organization warns of falsified medicines circulating in several African countries. These are various chloroquines, this malaria drug currently being tested to establish whether it is effective in the treatment of Covid-19. Nine falsified products have been reported in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Niger.
They are called Samquine, Niruquine or Chloroquine Phosphate and the boxes and bottles that contain them look more real than life. However, in reality these products are falsified. Some were not produced by the manufacturer whose names appear on the labels. Or the manufacturer listed on the box simply does not exist. Most importantly, they do not contain the right amount of active pharmaceutical ingredient.
It is thanks to a global surveillance and monitoring system for substandard and falsified medical products That WHO is able to issue these alerts. And it is hospitals, dispensaries, health centres, wholesalers, distributors and pharmacies that help update the alerts on fake medicines, through their analyzes and reports.
The World Health Organization publishes photos and detailed list of these falsified medicines on its website and asks patients in possession of these products not to use them, and if it is already done, to contact a health professional. Finally, it is important, stresses the WHO, that the incident be well reported to the public authorities.
It’s already the fourth alert that WHO issues in 2020 on fake medicines. The last, issued at the end of March, relates to ” an increasing number of falsified medical products that claim to prevent, detect, treat or cure Covid-19 ” The other two relate to rapid HIV tests and falsified antimalarials.
Keeping safe when buying medicines
- Falsified medicines can cause serious harm
- When buying over the internet, only use registered online pharmacies
- Check that the online pharmacy you are using has the common logo
- Click on the logo and confirm that the online pharmacy is listed on the national authority website
- Do not buy medicines advertised as cures or preventive treatments for COVID-19. To treat COVID-related symptoms such as fever, discuss with your doctor or follow advice from authorities
The public is reminded that there are currently no treatments authorised for COVID-19. Medicines are available for treating symptoms such as fever in line with advice from your doctor or pharmacist.