The World Health Organization says about 11 per cent of medicines in developing countries are counterfeit and likely responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of children from diseases like malaria and pneumonia. It’s the first attempt by the UN health agency to assess the problem.
Experts reviewed 100 studies involving more than 48,000 medicines. Drugs for treating malaria and bacterial infections accounted for nearly 65 per cent of fake medicines. Scientists commissioned by WHO at the University of Edinburgh estimate the number of children dying from pneumonia after receiving bad drugs to be between about 72,000 and 169,000.
WHO says the cases of fake medicines it found are only “a small fraction” and problems may be going unreported. The reports were released on Tuesday.