Fight the Fakes calls for top up to key medicines fund

Fight the Fakes Alliance – a group dedicated to tackling the menace of falsified medicines – has called upon national governments to replenish the funding for a key initiative that helps to protect patients in low- and middle-income countries.

The 20-year-old Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is due to have its funding replenished in September and has asked for $18bn to make sure that it can continue its work to ensure people in these countries only get quality-assured medicines and medicinal products.

"If the replenishment is not met in full, then countries could be forced to procure non-quality-assured medicines instead," said Fight the Fakes in a statement issued today. "The demand could lead to the increase of substandard and falsified medicines reaching patients through illegitimate or illegal ways."

The organisation says that every year, fake malaria and tuberculosis medicines kill 700,000 people, with antimicrobials the category of drugs most prone to substandard and falsified products. That contributes significantly to the global burden of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance.

"Whilst nearly any type of pharmaceutical product can be and has been falsified, the number of substandard and falsified medicines used to treat malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS is of particular concern," it adds.

The Global Fund meanwhile sales hitting its $18bn would save 20 million lives, cut HIV, TB and malaria deaths by 64 per cent and strengthen health systems to reinforce pandemic preparedness.

The Biden Administration has already requested $2bn for the Global Fund in fiscal 2023, and $6bn overall for the next replenishment, and as this article was being written Sweden committed SEK 3 billion ($280m) to the programme.

The replenishment conference is scheduled to take place at the White House on September 19-21.

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