‘War Against Counterfeit Medicine: My Story’

‘War Against Counterfeit Medicine: My Story’

Many Nigerians have been subjected to untimely death due to consumption of counterfeit drugs which many at times, are administered by quack doctors and even some health professionals who can hardly differenciate between geniune and fake drugs.

‘War Against Counterfeit Medicine: My Story’

Chika Okeke writes that the book, War Against Counterfeit Medicine: "My Story reveals some of the many challenges posed by fake drugs. It is a must read not only by food and drug regulators but also by the general public who are keen about their health and implications of consuming counterfeit drugs. It also revealed some major manufacturing companies that were blacklisted in different years due to their involvement in the production of counterfeit drugs and how to identify genuine and fake drugs."

‘War Against Counterfeit Medicine: My Story’

The director general, World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Francis Gurry described the book: “The book is a unique study of global phenomenon in which law breaking and profiteering prevail at the cost of human health and life but the author’s experiences are a message of hope, testimony to the commitment and courage of individuals who serve the institutions as well as ensure that commercial profitability goes hand in hand with the safety and well being of consumers.

Gurry who wrote the foreword said, “Counterfeiters have been quick to exploit the speed, convenience and anonymity of the internet as a medium for expanding the sale of fake drugs. The author’s commitment to the fight against fake drugs was deeply rooted in her personal experience because her sister who was diabetic died after being treated with fake insulin. … Will Improve Countries Food Regulatory Environment The author of the book, Dr. Dora Akunyili said that she was moved to write the book due to her experiences in the fight against fake drugs hoping that it would help countries in improving on their food regulatory environment.

“I felt a compelling need to write the book for two reasons: firstly, to document what my team and I did in over seven and a half years in the fight to protect the public from the fatal consequences of fake medicines and unwholesome food products. “It is my hope that it will help compel individuals, organisations and governments to recognise the heightened level of the dangers posed by medication counterfeiters and thus, ensure that strategies that have led to our globally recognised achievement over the period were not jettisoned but improved upon.

“Secondly, I believe that the publication will help countries improve on their food and regulatory environments and strategies where they already exist or create new ones where none exists. Considering the facts that drug counterfeiting is an emerging phenomenon, it is understandable that there is no currently clear cut strategy in any literature on how to tackle the menace.”

Giving a breakdown on the statics of fake drugs, she stressed, “Counterfeiting is not a new phenomenon. It is fast growing while the effects are rather alarming because data showed that 5-7 % of world trade, valued at about US $280 billion was lost to counterfeiting and the problem is increasing yearly.  

There, she contested for the Anambra Central senatorial seat on the platform of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in April 2011 but was defeated by Chris Ngige of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Born in Makurdi, Benue State on the July 14, 1954, to the family of Chief and Mrs. Paul Young Edemobi, she is a devout Catholic and happily married to Dr. J.C. Akunyili, a medical practitioner from Nanka in Anambra State. They are blessed with six children and grandchildren. She has written 18 Journal Articles and authored another book, titled, Bankers’ role in the NAFDAC war.

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