spurious clippings: global news round-up Phil Taylor 13-Nov-2010 SecuringPharma.com's round-up of pharmaceutical supply chain security news from the world's press features reports from India, Pakistan, Tanzania, Kenya, Senegal and Ghana.
In India, a director of pharmaceutical company Axon Laboratories has been sentenced to five years in jail after he was convicted of manufacturing misbranded medicines, according to an article in The Tribune newspaper. Mr. A. Sood was found guilty of manufacturing 'spurious' Sapagun, an Indian brandname medicine, and also received a fine of 10,000 rupees. The case against Sood was brought by a local drug inspectorate, which came across the spurious Sapagun product during a sampling exercise. A High Court in Karachi, Pakistan, has rejected the bail applications of two men suspected of involvement in the trafficking of spuriousmedications, according to an article in the Daily Times newspaper. Muhammad Faisal and Muhammad Imran were arrested after a raid by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on a wholesaler and warehouse recovered a "huge amount" of illegal medicines. Tanzania is "sagging" under the burden of fake goods and the inability of the national government to control the spurious trade, and the country's Fair Competition Commission should be given greater legal power to "arrest, intervene and prosecute," writes Peter Muthamia in The Citizen newspaper. The article also calls for greater use of Tanzania's updated Mercantile Marks Act, which has tightened up the legal basis for bringing actions against counterfeiters but is "barely used." Kenya has been described as a "safe haven" for spurious drug manufacturers by the World Health Organization, according to an article in the Business Daily newspaper written by George Omondi and Mwangi Muiruri. The report says the WHO has estimated that the Kenyan market for spurious, expired, diverted and otherwise illegal medicines is around $130m and propagated by weak border controls. The authorities in Senegal lack sufficient inspectors to help combat the sale of illegal medicines, reports the IRIN News Service, which notes that there are just four inspectors tasked with monitoring the activities of more than 1,000 pharmacies, three manufacturers and four wholesalers in the country, let alone the thousands of unregistered street vendors. There are fears in Ghana that seized spurious medicines could have an adverse environmental impact, with watercourses becoming contaminated if their disposal is not handled properly, according to a report from the Ghana News Agency. Sherry Ayittey, the country's Minister of Environment Science and Technology, is quoted as saying: "Everyone knows these products are bad in the first place. Why should they…be dumped in the environment without due consideration to the most effective ways of detoxifying them and making them safe?"