18 01 2010

Left=Fake. Real=Right

Malaria is a tremendous concern in Africa so antimalarial counterfeit drugs are one of the biggest problems they face. Each year it is estimated that malaria kills 1.5 million people, those of which are mainly children. This parasite has become resistant to most antibiotics and drugs. In 2006, there has been a recent introduction of antimalarial drugs made from the artemisinin plant and has subsequently revolutionized the healing of malaria. The drug taken from this plant to fight malaria is called artesunate. Up to 90% of artesunate that is used is fake. The problem about artesunate is that it is in high demand and very expensive. Therefore, the counterfeiting industry has taken it upon themselves to help create a drug to make it relatively inexpensive for Africans. This has helped the counterfeiting industry thrive. These forged drugs have enough of the plant to fool the laboratory tests, but do not have enough of the artesunate needed to help treat people.



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