Fake drugs: Criminals use Corona-crisis
The active ingredient chloroquine, which is used against Malaria and rheumatoid Arthritis, may also help against Covid-19. The has global demand increased by leaps and bounds, and medicine counterfeiters are attracted. Five specimens from Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were studied by pharmacists at the University of Tübingen, and they were ineffective to dangerous.
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Already the end of March, fake chloroquine were in Africa-preparations are noticed, which had been sold by illegal dealers, but also in pharmacies. Five of them were analyzed at the University of Tübingen: Four contained no chloroquine, but the painkillers Acetaminophen or the antibiotic metronidazole, which should probably mimic the bitter taste of chloroquine. In the fifth drug chloroquine was found, but in such small quantities, that the tablets are ineffective and instead the development of chloroquine-resistant malaria pathogens favor. The researchers report in the "American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene".
They fear that this could be only the tip of the iceberg and more fake drugs will follow. Because each drug may not work against Covid-19, could trigger a desperately high demand, Particularly in the poorest countries, the drug counterfeiters would call on the Plan. In addition, the Lock-have down destroyed in China and India, international medicines supply chains and supply shortages were to be feared.
Arzneimittelfälschungen quickly recognize
Professor Lutz Heide from the Pharmaceutical Institute of the University of Tübingen has two counter-measures are important: "On the one hand, it must be ensured in the coming months, the supply of developing countries with affordable, quality-assured medicines as well as possible. And it must be easy to established to test ways in which the suspect drug is rapidly identified and an investigation of the fed can be."