Defective Legal System in

Developing Countries

Defective Legal System in Developing Countries

The United States recently boasts of their 1% drug counterfeit percentage statistics in their overall pharmaceutical legitimacy survey. South America, albeit notorious for mafia activities, denies proliferation of fake medicines in their operations. The United Kingdom and other European countries cannot fully determine the scale of the problem within their own boundaries but with strict security implementations and by actively participating in operations against drug counterfeit, these countries are confident that they have a lesser risk on drug counterfeiting than the United States. Australia reports rare cases of drug counterfeiting in their proximity.

And now we are left with Asia and Africa. Unsurprisingly, these two large continents comprise more than 50% of fraud drugs in the world. While Asia is the largest manufacturer, the biggest client is Africa.

We have read countless reviews stating the problem of drug counterfeiting is vast in developing and poor countries. At worst, they can kill. At best, they can’t cure. Both sides of the coin present great dangers when exposed to the public and yet, this becomingly lucrative industry thrives on.

The scale of the problem remains unclear and it is a continuous challenge for authorities to differentiate between the real ones and the fakes. Even with the advancement of technology, there is no definite decision and regulation to obliterate this kind of crime.

The World Health Organization estimates that counterfeit drugs constitute up to 25 per cent of the total medicine supply in less developed countries (LDCs). In Africa and South East Asia, more detailed sampling found that between 30 and 60 per cent of medicines were substandard. Fake medicines are also highly prevalent in Latin America and other parts of Asia. The largest producers of fake medicines seem to be India, China and Indonesia. The latter surprisingly in the list as the country is known to impose immediate death penalty for illegal smugglers. Just last year, nine foreigners were executed after being caught exporting illegal drugs in Jakarta.

In an explanation presented by The Peterson Group, Mark Strewn, spokesperson says, “Poor countries tend to have highly inefficient, slow and expensive legal systems, which make it very difficult for people to be assured of the quality of the medicines they purchase. The defective legal system of these countries needs to be strengthened. Local authorities lack warning systems due to the fact that they are unaware themselves; pharmaceutical companies are also infiltrated with fraud medicines; and pharmacies sell substandard drugs unconsciously because they have no capability to identify the counterfeits”.