A third of malaria drugs are fake, research finds
Research has suggested that a third of drugs that are used to treat malaria are either of low quality or are counterfeit.
The team of researchers, from the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the US, say that the problem of fake malaria drugs is particularly prevalent in countries in South East Asia and Africa.
It is thought counterfeit or low quality anti-malarial medications are contributing to the disease’s drug resistance and are responsible for the failure of treatments.
The investigators are now adamant that the drug supply needs to be improved.
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They say the emergence of malaria strains that are resistant to artemisinin drugs – currently the most effective form of malaria treatment – on the Thailand-Cambodia border is just one reason why it is so important to eradicate fake drugs from the supply chain.
“Poor quality anti-malarial drugs are very likely to jeopardise the unprecedented progress and investments in control and elimination of malaria made in the past decade,” commented Dr. Joel Breman, one of the study’s co-authors.
“These findings are a wakeup call demanding a series of interventions to better define and eliminate both criminal production and poor manufacturing of antimalarial drugs,” he added.
In total the researchers analysed existing data of almost 1,500 drugs from seven countries in South East Asia and 2,500 anti-malarial samples from 21 African countries.
Overall, between 20 and 42 percent of the drugs were found to be poor quality or fake.
Poor quality samples were classified as being either falsified, substandard or degraded.
Substandard products were poorly manufactured with inadequate or too much active ingredient, while degraded supplies referred to good quality drugs that were compromised by poor storage.
Meanwhile falsified medications were ones that were fraudulently manufactured with fake packaging and usually no or wrong active ingredient.
Out of the 1,437 samples of malaria drugs from the seven South East Asian countries, approximately one third failed chemical analysis, nearly half were not correctly packaged and 36 percent were fakes.
Similarly in 21 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, of 2,634 malaria drug samples more than one third failed on the basis of chemical analysis and about 20 percent were found to be fakes.
Only Burkina Faso provided data on packaging analysis, with about a 35 percent failure rate.
The full findings of the study have been published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.
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LG launches purpose-built smart TV for hospitals
LG Business Solutions USA has announced two new hospital TVs that are designed to improve patient management and engagement while adhering to critical safety standards for healthcare facilities.
One of the TVs is LG's biggest ever screen for a hospital - the 65-inch 4K Ultra HD model. It has LG’s NanoCell display technology, enabling it to display vivid pictures, and provides built-in support for hospital pillow speakers and embedded broadband LAN capability, so hospitals can deliver video on demand without requiring a separate set-top box in the patient room.
It also includes configuration software with an intuitive interface for setting up the TV to work in a hospital setting, plus a software-enabled access point feature that turns the TV into a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The second TV screen is the 15-inch Personal Healthcare Smart Touch TV with a multi-touch screen. It is designed to be installed on an adjustable arm for use in shared spaces or smaller patient rooms and will support LG's new, modular LG AM-AC21EA video camera, and HD video communication.
Both include support for video conferencing, and are UL Certified for use in healthcare facilities, a global safety standard. They also feature LG’s integrated Pro:Centric hospital management solutions, allowing hospitals and LG’s patient engagement development partners to personalise a patient's room, providing entertainment, hospital information, services, patient education, and more.
Additionally its communication platform makes it possible to conduct video calls between patients and clinicians or family.
“Our newest LG hospital TVs reflect ongoing feedback from the industry and include capabilities integrated to meet the unique needs of a critical market” said Tom Mottlau, Director of Healthcare Solutions, LG Electronics USA.
“Our healthcare patient engagement development partners requested an upgradable version of webOS for our Pro:Centric smart TV platform so they could more easily introduce new features for their hospital customers. For the latest versions of webOS, LG worked closely with our partners to make their request a reality and to deliver a hospital TV platform that can evolve over time.”