Sunday, June 20, 2010

Report: Drug Resistance Driven By Giving Underdeveloped Nations Access to Drugs

Drug-Resistant Diseases Driven By Non-Profits’ Giving Access to Drugs

The Center for Global Development (CDG), an independent, nonprofit group, has released a report about drug resistant diseases being driven by more access to drugs in underdeveloped nations.

In the report, the CDG states that the World Health Organization (WHO), governments and nonprofit groups are saving lives by distributing drugs to developing countries, but these groups are not paying enough attention to the dangers of drug-resistant diseases and may be contributing to endangering the lives they are meaning to save.

"Drug resistance is a natural occurrence, but careless practices in drug supply and use are hastening it unnecessarily," the CGD’s Rachel Nugent, who led the group writing the report, said in a public statement.

Millions of children in the developing world die every year from drug-resistant strains of malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS and other diseases. Strains of those diseases are increasingly resistant to antibiotics, and the world is losing its ability to treat these and more common diseases such as dysentery and respiratory infections.

The CGD's report urges the WHO to lead others, including pharmaceutical companies, governments, philanthropies that buy and distribute medicines, hospitals, healthcare providers, pharmacies and patients.

The report finds clear links between increased drug availability and resistance. For instance, in countries with the highest use of antibiotics, 75 to 90 percent of Streptococcus pneumoniae strains are drug-resistant, it found.

Poor quality drugs, counterfeit drugs, incomplete use of drugs and other factors all contribute to the problem, the report found. And this problem will worsen as drug access programs succeed, it cautions.

"The number of people being treated for HIV/AIDS, for example, increased 10-fold between 2002 and 2007; there was an 8-fold rise in deliveries of (drugs) for malaria treatment between 2005 and 2006, and the Stop TB Partnership's Global Drug Facility has expanded access to drugs for TB patients, offering nearly 14 million patient treatments in 93 countries since 2001," the report reads.

"While increased access to necessary drugs is clearly desirable, it brings challenges in preserving the efficacy of these drugs and ensuring they are used appropriately."

The CGD is recommending pharmaceutical companies, governments, donors, global health institutions, health providers, and patients to tackle this global health threat by implementing four key recommendations:

1. Collect and share drug resistance information across disease networks.
2. Secure the drug supply chain to ensure quality products and practices.
3. Strengthen national drug regulatory authorities in developing countries.
4. Catalyze research and innovation to speed the development of resistance-fighting technologies.

Secure Pharma Chain Blog endorses the concept by the CDG that an increased vigilance in securing the supply chain of these programs limits their vulnerability to fraud, adulteration and counterfeiting is one of the most significant steps in ensuring the efficacy of these efforts to fight these deadly diseases.

Unfortunately criminal elements are seizing on the opportunity of the tens of millions of dollars being poured into these programs to make huge profits while perpetuating and exacerbating the deadly effects of these horrible diseases.

Efforts and investment in solutions and technologies to protect the supply chain are necessary by every stakeholder of the supply chain to realize the goal of providing life saving medications.

Poor quality, fraudulent, adulterated and counterfeit drugs are causing millions to die each year from drug resistant strains of diseases that should be easily treated and contained. This epidemic is easily solved by more regulatory control and in the supply chains protecting themselves from criminal acts.

To read the entire CDG report, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical supply chain solutions, visit:

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