Ethiopian Health Officials Warn Public Against Counterfeit Antiretroviral Drugs
Smugglers in Ethiopia are illegally importing drugs and passing them off as antiretroviral medications, Ethiopian officials said on Monday, warning the public not to buy the drugs, Agence France-Presse reports. "Illegally imported drugs of unauthorized quality and unpredictable effects are currently under distribution in the name of antiretrovirals," Haileselassie Bihon, general manager of Ethiopia's Drug Administration and Control Authority, said. Haileselassie said that no private health or pharmaceutical institution in Ethiopia has been granted a license to import or distribute antiretrovirals. Currently, about 2,000 HIV-positive Ethiopians are participating in a government-run antiretroviral drug pilot project to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatments, according to the ministry of health. Approximately three million Ethiopians are HIV-positive, according to Agence France-Presse. AIDS experts at an international AIDS conference in Kenya last month warned that counterfeit antiretroviral drugs will probably appear on the black market in Africa, as generic versions of patented drugs become more widely available (Agence France-Presse, 10/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.