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Poor-Quality Medicines in Cameroon: A Critical Review

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  • 1 University of Liege, CIRM, Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry, Department of Pharmacy, Liège, Belgium;
  • | 2 University of Yaoundé I, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Yaoundé, Cameroon;
  • | 3 University of Kinshasa, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Lemba, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo;
  • | 4 Laboratoire National de Contrôle des Médicaments et Expertise, Yaoundé, Cameroon
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ABSTRACT.

Poor-quality medicines are the cause of many public health and socioeconomic problems. We conducted a review to acquire an overview of the situation concerning such medicines in Cameroon. Different searches were performed on databases from several websites of the WHO, the Ministry of Public Health of Cameroon, the Anti-Counterfeit Medicine Research Institute, the Global Pharma Health Fund, and the Infectious Disease Data Observatory. We identified 92 publications comprised of 19 peer-reviewed studies and 73 alerts. Based on studies completed, 1,664 samples were analyzed, and the prevalence of substandard and falsified (SF) medicines could be estimated for 1,440 samples. A total of 67.5% of these samples were collected from the informal sector, 20.9% from the formal sector, and 11.6% from both sectors. We found a prevalence of SF medicines across the peer-reviewed studies of 26.9%, whereas most of the SF medicines belonged to the anti-infective class. The problem of SF medicines is not studied sufficiently in Cameroon; therefore, efforts should be made to conduct adequate studies in terms of representativity and methodology.

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Author Notes

Address correspondence to Christelle Ange Waffo Tchounga, University of Yaoundé I, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, BP 1364 Yaoundé, Cameroon. E-mail: christellewaffo@yahoo.fr

Financial support: Research grants were received from the Academy of Research and Higher Education, Belgium, to C. A. W. T. and P. C. H.

Authors’ addresses: Christelle Ange Waffo Tchounga, University of Liege, CIRM, Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry, Department of Pharmacy, Liège, Belgium, and the University of Yaoundé I, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Yaoundé, Cameroon, E-mail: christellewaffo@yahoo.fr. Pierre-Yves Sacré, Philippe Hubert, and Roland Marini Djang’eing’a, University of Liege, CIRM, Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry, Department of Pharmacy, Liège, Belgium, E-mails: pysacre@uliege.be, ph.hubert@uliege.be, and rmarini@uliege.be. Patient Ciza Hamuli, University of Liege, CIRM, Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry, Department of Pharmacy, Liège, Belgium, and University of Kinshasa, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Lemba, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, E-mail: cizapatient@yahoo.fr. Rose Ngono Mballa, University of Yaoundé I, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Yaoundé, Cameroon, and Laboratoire National de Contrôle des Médicaments et Expertise, Yaoundé, Cameroon, E-mail: princessrose@hotmail.fr. Emmanuel Nnanga Nga, University of Yaoundé I, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Yaoundé, Cameroon, E-mail: ngnnanga@yahoo.fr.

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