As society becomes more and more globalized, the Food and Drug Administration is turning its eye toward improving the safety of drugs and food products all around the world. In a new report, the agency describes how they’re taking a device readily available in the United States and using it to keep citizens in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa safe from counterfeit malaria medications.
The pilot program will start in Ghana because of its flourishing pharmaceutical industry and stable government. The movement was deemed necessary because of findings which show that a full 33% of malaria drugs in the aforementioned regions are either fake or aren’t up to par with actual medication. This issue is particularly serious when you consider that 660,000 people, most of them kids, die around the world every year because of malaria.
The FDA hopes to protect people via the deployment of the Counterfeit Detector Device, or CD-3. The item was actually the brainchild of a member of the Forensic Chemistry Center of the FDA. Using ultraviolet lights, the product can pick up on signatures which, when placed next to an authentic version of the item, demonstrate a fraud. Mail hubs and ports in America already utilize these devices to determine whether an Internet-purchased product from overseas is on the level.
The tools will be made available to five Ghana sites, as will training and the resources necessary to carry out proper testing of products from nearby medical facilities.