Counterfeiting of HIV/AIDS medicines : implications for global epidemic : recommendations for workplace programs

Norris, Gerard Benedict (2005-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: multiple therapeutic categories of medicines have been increasingly targeted for counterfeiting. According to Van Niekerk [Van Niekerk, Anton. (2001). Moral and social complexities of AIDS in Africa. University of Stellenbosch], “it is commonplace to identify and bewail a plethora of problems in the developing world generally, and in Africa in particular. Poverty, illiteracy, famine, political instability, natural disasters, and many more misfortunes dominate the history of this part of the world over the past 50 years. It was therefore adding uncalled (undeserved?) insult to already overwhelming injury when HIV/AIDS visibly struck the world since mid-1980. In spite of all the other calamities that Africa has to deal with, it nevertheless is no exaggeration to claim that HIV/AIDS nowadays constitutes the most serious health and social crisis and challenge that has ever befallen the continent”. Similar patterns involving HIV/AIDS are now emerging on other continents. One objective of this recent research study was to explore possible relationships between the growing scourges of the worldwide counterfeiting of medicines and parallels with the expanding global HIV/AIDS pandemic - as well as to examine potential relationships and risks associated with other diseases that have been observed to have ‘special associations’ with HIV and AIDS [e.g. sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria] - and possible impact on the “World of Work”. A second and important objective was to develop Recommendations for Workplace Programs. The information gathered has also been used to propose future studies regarding HIV/AIDS and counterfeiting. In the developing world, antibiotics and anti-parasitic medicines are included among the counterfeiters’ favorite targets. Strong parallels exist between locations where counterfeiting of medicines is taking place/product being distributed/sold and where HIV/AIDS is most prevalent and/or where the epidemic is expanding progressively. Counterfeiting of medicines used for treating HIV/AIDS raises the possibility of additional future complications developing in managing other global diseases such as Malaria and Tuberculosis, not to mention exacerbating the potential for developing resistance and encouraging mutation of the HI virus itself. It is also noteworthy that certain medical devices have also been found to be counterfeit. Global demographics and with particular reference to projected growth rates of populations of the developing world are of specific relevance to this subject of anticounterfeiting and medicines used for the treatment of HIV and AIDS. Indeed, next generations of humanity appear to be at unnecessary risk of being caught up in a confluence of forces whereby the practice of the counterfeiting of medicines could result in significant complications and unforeseen consequences regarding management of the global HIV/AIDS crisis. Following the research, recommendations for workplace programs were developed. The research study concludes with a comprehensive set of references.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die problamatiek aangaande die vervalsing (namaak) van medisyne word nou wereldwyd ervaar en het ‘n impak op beide die geindustrialiseerde en die ontwikkelende wereld. Menige medisyne in terapeutiese kategoriee is tot op hede as vervals geidentifeseer, met die direkte resultaat dat hulle ‘n minemale of geen terapeutiese uitwerking het nie. Wat nog erger is, is dat hierdie middels uiters gevaarlik is om te gebruik en selfs lewensgevaarlik kan wees. Dit is van groot betekenis dat ook medisyne wat bestem is om persone met HIV/VIGS te behandel, as vervals aangetoon is – en soedoende tot nog toe onbekende gevolge vir pasiente, die werkomgewing en ongekende risiko’s vir wereldwye gesondheidsorg en internasionale veiligheid en sekuriteit inhou. In hierdie studie word die onderwerp in taamlike besonderhede bestudeer en daar word afgesluit met aanbevelings oor programme in die werkplek wat ontwerp is om sorg en ondersteuning te bied aan werkers met HIV/VIGS. Verdere studie word ook aanbeveel om die tergende probleme wat volg op die vervalsing van medisyne in die behandling van persone met HIV/VIGS, en die implikasies hiervan, die hoof te bide.

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