Dr. Paul Newton Talks Counterfeit Drugs & Drug Resistance in Recent Interview

DAY #1: "Malaria-Mosquito warning sign painting on corridor wall - Maputo" ... Kevin McKidd

Day #1 Malaria-Mosquito Warning Sign Painting on Corridor Wall
Kevin McKidd via Flickr.

In a recent interview with Pathogens & Global Health, Dr. Paul Newton, Head of the Wellcome Trust-Mahosot Hospital-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration in Vientiane, Laos, offered his expertise on the growing problem of counterfeit medication in the treatment of tropical diseases.

Dr. Paul Newton works in the heart of Malaria country in Southeast Asia. As a result, he has a very clear, first-hand perspective on the role counterfeit and substandard drugs play in drug resistance and the human cost of counterfeit medication. He is also well acquainted with the drug supply chain problems that plague malarious regions.

Newton expresses hope that rapid fire testing and easy-to-use verification technology such as SMS-text verification will help protect the ill from poor quality and counterfeit medication.

He explains that a big part of the problem with drug resistance in tropical diseases is that resistance is hard to prevent due to the lack of effective medicine regulatory agencies in the nations most likely to have drug resistance develop. He emphasizes that international cooperation and effort must be effected in order to combat drug resistance in the regions of the world most likely to engender it.

In his interview, Newton describes drug counterfeiting as a global criminal enterprise, saying “Criminals making and trading falsified medicines operate throughout the world, London, Beijing, Mumbai, Lagos, Texas…”. he goes further in saying that it would appear that “poor quality” drugs are most commonly produced in places with poor regulation and developing economies.

We'll be discussing the essential nature of international cooperation in the fight against counterfeit drugs at our 2012 Interchange, September 27th in Washington DC. Register today!

By S. Imber


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