Mauritius is to crackdown on counterfeit medicines, iterating it is a serious public health in the and globally as well and is seeking assistance from the United States.
The Ministry of Health and Quality of Life has expressed that fake medicines and its manufacture are to be investigated thoroughly as concerns that the illicit trade is affecting Mauritians lives and many citizens worldwide.
The Minister for Health and Quality of Life, Lormus Bundoo condemned the illegal use and trade of counterfeit drugs and expressed his upmost dismay of its health risks to the public. He also noted that nations
around the world should do more to stop it.
“The authorities are determined to raise awareness of the illicit manufacture and trade of counterfeit medicines, the associated risks, and the importance of combating counterfeit medicines in Mauritius,”Bundoo said.
“It is imperative that countries improve on measures to prevent illicit and fake medications from entering their territories,” He added. The Prime Ministers Offices said that it would work in close collaboration with the US Embassy in Port Louis to tackle the issue, which has seen unprecedented growth worldwide by criminal organizations.
The Mauritian government says that in order to combat the use and importation of fake medicines in the country it will be working closer with law enforcement agencies, notably the Customs department, Police Ant-Drug and Smuggling Unit and The Police Anti-Piracy Unit.
However, there are no official statistics on the severity of the counterfeit medicine problem in Mauritius, but prominent international organizations have reason to believe it is a mounting problem in numerous countries.
According to Interpol, the occurrence of deceitful and misleading medicines has been made worse by the rise of internet commerce, describing that in Asia, Africa and Latin America it forms 30 per cent of the market, in 2011.
Regional Immigration and Customs Enforcement Attaché of the US government, Abraham Lugo explained that they are assessing fake medicines on an Africa-wide basis and are currently working in collaboration with the private sector on the issue.
US based Centre of Medicines in the Public Interest reported that in 2010 world trade in fake medicines by criminal networks reached a staggering 75 billion USD, and that since 2005 and law enforcement authorities recorded increase of over 85 per cent.
Additionally, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) says that 10 per cent of pharmaceuticals internationally and around 25 per cent of medicines are distributed in developing or emerging economies.