Os remédios venenosos da indústria farmacêutica

BOSTON – Ninguém precisa de passar uma vida inteira no sector global de cuidados de saúde para perceber que os medicamentos de baixa qualidade ou falsificados são um grande perigo para a saúde pública. Estes produtos falsos infiltraram-se nas cadeias de fornecimento farmacêuticas, do Azerbaijão à Zâmbia, destruindo os programas mais promissores para controlar, gerir e erradicar as doenças mortais. No entanto, pouco tem sido feito para acabar com esta actividade criminosa.

Ao crescer no Paquistão, percebi o quão vital era para a minha mãe, à semelhança de qualquer mãe ou pai instruído, saber quais os medicamentos e as farmácias em que podia confiar. Pouca coisa mudou, desde então. Os farmacêuticos locais, de Lahore a Lusaka, continuam a vender várias marcas do mesmo medicamento a preços diferentes; e os lojistas são chamados para darem uma opinião sincera dos seus benefícios e falhas.

Infelizmente, o problema é muito mais profundo do que alguns medicamentos de má qualidade vendidos na farmácia da esquina. Cerca de 75 mil milhões de dólares em medicamentos de baixa qualidade são vendidos anualmente, causando um número estimado de 100 mil mortes em todo o mundo, e fazendo com que muitas mais pessoas fiquem gravemente doentes. O comércio de medicamentos de qualidade inferior também debilita os frágeis sistemas de saúde pública nos países pobres. Além de matar os consumidores, os efeitos dos medicamentos de má qualidade podem passar de pais para filhos e até mesmo criar novas linhagens de doenças mais resistentes aos medicamentos, que nos ameaçam a todos.

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