Cambodia making progress in war against fake medicines

Counterfeit drugsCambodia's pharmaceutical market has long been undermined by rampant medicine counterfeiting, but a recent effort by the government to stamp out illegal pharmacies is having a positive impact, according to Business Monitor International.

Along with fake medicines, corruption and political stagnation pegged the country's drug market down to a tiny $170m in 2009. However, over the last couple of years around 65 per cent of the country's illegal pharmacies have been shut down, says BMI in its latest report on the country's drug market.

The report also cites an October 2010 medicine sampling study which found only 3 per cent of medicines sold in urban and rural pharmacies were fake, although up to 9 per cent failed quality testing (see also Cambodian study finds 3 per cent of medicines are counterfeit).

While BMI believes pharmaceutical market growth could top 10 per cent over the next five years, those forecasts carry quite a lot of risk from "the lack of political and social stability, especially in the face of widespread corruption and - more recently - violations of land rights by government officials."

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