Africa always seems to be the target of counterfeiting. Is it because of the lack of awareness among African people? Or perhaps the stereotype tagged in the general outlook of the continent as being poor and illiterate?
Whatever the impression is on Africa’s lifestyle and education, the issue of drug counterfeiting continues to escalate.
When it was once an anti-malarial medicine in Kenya that exposed African conflict against fraudulent counterfeiting which remains unsolvable until today, another part of Africa emerges in mainstream news as the production, exportation, importation and distribution of fake drugs worsen. It is even more agitated by the fact that higher powers are behind the illegal and criminal act.
The widespread of anti-malarial drug scams were reviewed to be led by drug cartels and large mafia of ex-convicts and people with criminal records. This time, the government, the same voice of the people who are supposed to be the ones leading the battle against counterfeiting are the ones who tolerates and even gets involved in the illegal trade.
In an interview conducted by the Peterson Group, one of the first non-profit organizations to inform the public of the latest news on campaigns against counterfeiting, with Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA), the government sector has disclosed that the Government of Liberia sometimes imports into the country fake medicines to be distributed among public hospitals.
"The proliferation of these medicines is posing serious threats to the health of Liberians", LMHRA Managing Director, Pharmacist David Sumo warned.
Almost all Liberians trust the Public Health Sector when it comes to medicine as they are the only ones who can provide trusted and high-quality medicines to the people.
Sumo added, "Once this news spreads, pandemonium is expected to occur among the public".
The medicines were confiscated after it was found out that they all have the same series and batch numbers but different manufacturing dates. LMHRA was given the amount of US$60,000 to monitor medicines in five counties including Montserrado, Bomi, and Margibi, among others.
LMHRA is now implementing strict regulations on the import of medicines within Liberia and they are also starting to inform the public of this current threat. The government, on the other hand denies the accusations as they reason that they do not have the resources to procure the medicines.
The drugs were traced back to be manufactured in Jakarta, Indonesia.