A hundred police officers from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, Nigeria and Togo, all members of the Interpol have met since Tuesday in Lomé to discuss the explosion of trade and commerce of counterfeit drugs in Africa West. A criminal activity and a serious public health problem.
"The pharmaceutical crime has reached disturbingly high levels. Criminal networks are highly structured rivals with drug traffickers and arms, "said Colonel Gnama Latta, Minister of Public Safety.
"It's a moral scandal and a challenge for development actors," said Latta.
An estimated 30% of the drugs that are sold in Africa are fake.
Interpol hopes to fight with the cooperation of all the countries of West Africa.
Last November, 22 tons of counterfeit pharmaceutical products had been destroyed by Customs in Togo, which was 250,000 cartons, including anti-inflammatory drugs, paracetamol and glucose water.
Counterfeits, which are found in markets and in some pharmacies of Togo, are perfect, same packaging, same logo. Only the content differs from the original. The tablets are mostly ineffective because of their composition and therefore dangerous to health.
"Do not tell me that it is not a crime", had said the former French President Jacques Chirac during his call of Cotonou in October 2009 based on an alarming data by the World Health Organization (WHO): every one out of 4 drug is fake in developing countries and 200,000 deaths could be prevented each year if prescribed drugs against malaria were in accordance with the regulations and can handle real disease.
Photo : (Center) Gnama Latta, the Togolese Minister of Security