Kenya Fights Counterfeit Drugs

Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD

Counterfeit drugs are a scourge that spans continents and patients everywhere.  Sadly however, some of the most vulnerable countries such as Kenya have been deeply impacted by the problem.  The World Health Organization reports that a survey performed by the National Quality Control Laboratories and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board found that almost 30 percent of drugs in Kenya are counterfeit, harming thousands of patients and representing a tremendous public health problem.  In addition, a 2006 estimate indicates that counterfeit drug sales account for approximately $130 million annually in sales.  Importantly, these fakes are believed to contribute to at least 200,000 of the 2.7 million deaths caused by malaria each year in Africa.

To combat its counterfeit drug epidemic, the Kenyan government has introduced the Anti-Counterfeit Bill, which would help to address the counterfeit drug sales in the country. We join Kenyan health care providers and applaud the Kenyan government’s efforts to stem the flood of counterfeit drugs that endanger public health.