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False medicine

  1. Jul 4, 2016 #1
    Good evening, I shall like receiving some advice and knowing if there would be some people to follow me in this project. The problems bound to false medicine in Africa are so much many. I have 4 friends who were affected by the malaria and who died, because they took false medicine. They are thousands to die so.I then said myself, that it would be easier if each had a mini spectrometer which would be connected with its telephone. So each can distinguish false medicine of the truths. But I know only the composition of medicine because I am a student in pharmaceutical science. I need advice and if is possible, to work with every interested people. Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 4, 2016 #2
    Issues related to fake drugs aren't uncommon in developing countries where import-export custom officials or drug related authorities are bribeable. Even with the "true" ones, screening them for safe use and to eliminate a very small amount of metabolites that may affect takers health is also problematic in pharmaceutical industry.
    And Yes I think spectroscopy-like machines can be of help to verify the imported goods. My advice is to contact your local authorities and explain to them your concerns.
  4. Jul 4, 2016 #3
    The authorities of this country, as of mine and several other African countries make nothing for. I tried, I met Secretaries who answered that they better had to make, I also saw the dean of my facult, but what's the use, we even have no real laboratory. I do not want to give up, I do not want to be any more a spectator, I want to fight for this cause, but I do not really know how
  5. Jul 4, 2016 #4
    I am Cameroonian, but I lived in Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is pharmacy everywhere, everybody can open one, even a plumber. The government cannot close these "pharmacy" because it makes nothing to improve the life of the population. Except this, even in African countries stricter, false medicine is always consumed by the population because no way(means) of distinction within the reach of all. Saddened for my English, I am French-speaking
  6. Jul 4, 2016 #5


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    Reminded me about

  7. Jul 4, 2016 #6


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    Very cool.
  8. Jul 4, 2016 #7
    Thanks to you, it is 1 am here, I did not see the time spent, so much I read fervently the newspaper of these young people...
  9. Jul 4, 2016 #8
    It is very interesting
  10. Jul 4, 2016 #9


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    Okay, you've suggested one prong of attack: developing a device that can read the chemical composition of a substance to confirm its authenticity. I don't know how realistic that is. Obstacles I could imagine: (i) a layperson could would use it effectively with minimal false readings, and (ii) it would need to be affordable within a population that doesn't have a lot of money in the first place. That doesn't mean one shouldn't try to develop something like this, but they are challenges.

    I think another prong is the socio-political one. The pharmaceutical industry is one that requires professional regulation and long term, the country in question needs to move towards a model where pharmacies and pharmacists are regulated, and/or where the government is in a sufficient position to enforce restricted activities and where professional colleges are independent and relatively free of conflicting interests. On top of this there is also industrial regulation and enforcement. I realize this is not easy, and it won't happen over night, but I think it can go a long way to ensure quality management and safety in medicine.
  11. Jul 4, 2016 #10
    Choppy, thank you for your intervention. You are right, the realization of this project did not shoe in one night, I know it. and even those who gave me an idea through the previous video know it. Past of the idea in the idea realized will take time. Very sincerely, I shall have liked working with some people who really know what they are doing. So things would go more quickly. This project still is more realistic than to hope to see the government changed health policy. And realized, it will be millions of lives that can be saved. Am I a dreamer, no, I don't think so, because in spite of the complexity of the thing, it remains practicable
  12. Jul 5, 2016 #11


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    I don't think technology is the answer, better education and regulation from the government is.

    You can give everyone in Africa a mass spectrometer, but if they believe the charlatans selling them the medication it will do little good.

    Unless there is a drastic supply problem were medically trained professionals are giving out medication they believe to be authentic, in which case it seems easier to provide pharmacists with a method to test their supply, i.e. readily available lab equipment.
  13. Jul 5, 2016 #12
    There are problems at every level. The first one is at the level of the supervisory body of medicine, he makes some good work for the border of the country, but inside the work is a mirage.

    The second is at the level of pharmacies. There are no regulations for the opening of a pharmacy. And the worst is that these pharmacies stocks up little of everywhere. The managers of these pharmacy have no way to detect false medicine. And consequently, the population consumes without being aware of it.

    It sometimes happens that a person changes pharmacy because she bought a medicine which reality was only some starch. But by changing pharmacy, she does not still know if the new medicine is real one or forgery. it settles down then a doubt which can play psychologically on the process of cure.

    I think that the solutions to a given problem have to adapt themselves in the conditions of sociopolitical life, reality
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