A latest research report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that, an estimated one in 10 medical products circulating in low- and middle-income countries like India is either “substandard or falsified.”
WHO further revealed that these medicines not only fail to treat or prevent diseases but can also cause serious illness or even death.
The report highlighted that since 2013, the WHO has received 1,500 reports of cases of substandard or falsified products. Of these, antimalarials and antibiotics are the most commonly reported.
Most of such reports (42%) come from the WHO African Region, 21% from the WHO Region of the Americas, and 21% from the WHO European Region.
“This is likely just a small fraction of the total problem and many cases may be going unreported. For example, only 8% of reports of substandard or falsified products to WHO came from the WHO Western Pacific Region, 6% from the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, and just 2% from the WHO South-East Asia Region,” said the report.
WHO has received reports of substandard or falsified medical products ranging from cancer treatment to contraception.
They are not confined to high-value medicines or well-known brand names and are split almost evenly between generic and patented products, according to the organisation.