The Global Pandemic of Falsified Medicines: Laboratory and Field Innovations and Policy Implications
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Widespread availability of monotherapies and falsified antimalarials is thought to have contributed to the historical development of multidrug-resistant malaria in Cambodia. This study aimed to document the quality of artemisinin-containing antimalarials (ACAs) and to compare two methods of collecting antimalarials from drug outlets: through open surveyors and mystery clients (MCs). Few oral artemisinin-based monotherapies and no suspected falsified medicines were found. All 291 samples contained the stated active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) of which 69% were considered good quality by chemical analysis. Overall, medicine quality did not differ by collection method, although open surveyors were less likely to obtain oral artemisinin-based monotherapies than MCs. The results are an encouraging indication of the positive impact of the country's efforts to tackle falsified antimalarials and artemisinin-based monotherapies. However, poor-quality medicines remain an ongoing challenge that demands sustained political will and investment of human and financial resources.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 25 Jun 2014
  • Accepted : 07 Dec 2014
  • Published online : 03 Jun 2015

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