United Press International - January 17, 2012
OXFORD, England, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Criminals are circulating
counterfeit and substandard drugs meant to control malaria,
threatening millions of lives in Africa, scientists warn.
Dr. Paul Newton of the Wellcome Trust-Mahosot Hospital-Oxford
University Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration in Laos and a
team of colleagues report fake anti-malarials are on sale in
Africa, as are poor quality anti-malarials that are both useless
and dangerous, The Guardian reported.
Malaria kills nearly 1 million people each year, mainly young
children and pregnant women. It is caused by parasites injected
into the bloodstream by mosquitoes.
Large parts of Africa are threatened by the distribution of fake
and poor quality anti-malarials made illicitly in China, the
Newton and colleagues looked at samples of suspect drugs from 11
countries collected from 2002 to 2010 and analysis showed some
counterfeits contained a mixture of wrong active pharmaceutical
ingredients, some of which may initially alleviate malaria
symptoms but not cure malaria.
The unexpected ingredients could cause potentially serious side
effects, particularly if they were to interact with other
medication, such as anti-retroviral therapies for HIV, Newton