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Counterfeit Drugs Kill
"Counterfeit drugs kill thousands each year and accelerate spread of drug-resistant diseases" according to the Transparency International's Global Corruption Report 2006. Health care is focus of this year's annual report from Transparency International (TI), an anti-corruption watchdog.

An article about the TI report published by the US State Department explained "Corruption is depriving people of needed medical care and promoting the development of drug-resistant disease, creating an ever-spiraling cycle of worsening health conditions."

The TI report noted that corruption "has distorted pharmaceutical markets and promoted a black market in counterfeit drugs, circumstances that have a direct impact on people hoping for cures and relief from those medicines." As a senior TI official stated, "People have a right to expect that the drugs they depend on are real."

The report's Executive Summary notes that "Corruption in the pharmaceutical chain can prove deadly: in the words of Dora Akunyili, head of Nigeria's Food and Drug Authority and a winner of the TI Integrity Award in 2003, ‘drug counterfeiting, facilitated by corruption, kills en masse and anybody can be a victim'. The authority she heads has found cases of water being substituted for life-saving adrenaline and of active ingredients being diluted by counterfeiters, triggering drug-resistant strains of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV, the world's biggest killers."

TI concludes that the "cure for corruption in the health care industry starts with transparency." Federal regulators can do their part to help improve transparency in the health care policy by rigorously adhering the procedures and standards set by the Data Quality Act.
  • Click here to article
  • Click here to see TI report


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