Counterfeit drugs are putting the whole world at risk – Even if you don’t buy the fake pharmaceuticals yourself

by Kate Baggaley
Popular Science, March 2, 2017

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In December 2014, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Ituri District saw an outbreak of what appeared to be meningitis. By August, more than 1,000 people had been admitted to clinics, and health workers knew there was something else afoot. What had at first seemed to be neck stiffness – a common symptom of meningitis – proved to be muscle spasms caused by a mislabelled medicine. Medicines that are of poor quality – or entirely fake – pose a serious public health threat. They pop up in every corner of the world, although they are much less common in industrialized nations. Fortunately, there are a few things that can be done to fight these deceptive drugs.

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