WHO uncovers fake antibiotic drug

The World Health Organization,WHO, asked those who may have taken the fake medicines to immediately seek advice from qualified medics, and ensure it is reported to the PPB. 

•The phenomenon of falsified medicines is also on the increase in many countries including in Europe.

A fake antibiotic has been intercepted in Kenya and Uganda, the World Health Organization has said.

In Kenya, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, PPB, said it intercepted fake Augmentin (Amoxicillin trihydrate – Potassium clavulanate) during routine market surveillance. 

The fake product was passed off as Augmentin, a GSK drug used to treat bacterial infections and listed as among WHO’s Essential Medicines.

said it did not manufacture this batch while tests in both Kenya and Uganda did not identify any of the expected active ingredients.

There were also labeling and packaging inconsistencies, authorities said.

“At this stage, no adverse reactions have been reported to WHO,” the organization said in a statement. 

“WHO requests increased vigilance within the supply chains of countries likely to be affected. It should include hospitals, clinics, health centres, wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies and any other suppliers of medical products,” WHO said

The organization asked those who may have taken the fake medicines to immediately seek advice from qualified medics and ensure it is reported to the PPB. 

This was the second WHO Medical Product Alert issued on falsified Augmentin in  Africa.

‘morning-after’ contraceptive pills 

“The market surveillance discovered a substandard/falsified postinor-2 (Levonogestrel) with different particulars on the secondary and primary package. Postinor-2 is an oral emergency contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex,” the Uganda National Drug Authority said.

The phenomenon of falsified medicines is on the increase in many countries including in Europe.

The European Medicines Agency says in the region, most of the fake drugs include expensive medicines, such as anticancer medicine and medicines in high demand, such as antivirals.

In Africa, it is usually the most used medicines like anti-malarials and antibiotics. 

In 2012, a research team from the US National Institutes of Health found that about one-third of anti-malarial medicines distributed in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa were counterfeit or fake.

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