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Anti-Counterfeiting Medicine Lab Opens in Southern Africa

Zambian government officials have allocated K2 billion to building a National Drug Quality Control Laboratory in Lusaka, announced the Ministry of Health.

Under the authority of the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority, the goal of the laboratory is to curb the spread of counterfeit medicine within Zambia, reports the Zambia Daily Mail.

Said Minster of Health Kapembwa Simbao, “The laboratory will provide some level of comfort to the people of Zambia, in that they will be assured of the quality of products circulating on the market. Mechanisms are in place to detect counterfeit products.”

The laboratory will be located at the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research near Lusaka International Airport. It will be equipped with anti-counterfeiting apparatus, and will be prequalified by the World Health Organization to carry out tests for other national medicine regulatory agencies within and outside southern Africa.

Simbao said the development is timely, as the threat of counterfeit medicines is increasing as counterfeiters reproduce fake life-saving medications in vast varieties. “Published reports give estimates of counterfeit drug sales of … up to 50 percent in parts of Africa and Asia. Counterfeiters bypass all regulatory controls and sell potentially harmful substances without any regulatory oversight,” Simbao said.

By S. Imber

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