Ecowas Report: “Morocco’s Clandestine Factories Flood The Region With Counterfeit Medicines”
A report issued by the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has revealed that secret factories in Morocco are flooding the region with counterfeit medicines, which are smuggled by land, sea and air to several countries on the continent and are in demand because of their low prices.
The report confirmed that the trade in illicit and counterfeit medicines is widespread in West Africa, and that its main source is clandestine factories in Morocco that market their production by land, air and sea to Burkina Faso, where smuggling routes from other countries also converge before redistributing the goods in the region.
According to the same source, counterfeit drug traffickers have taken advantage of the weak local production of medicines in the region, as well as the lack of oversight and the spread of corruption, to turn it into a hub for smuggling counterfeit medicines, whether it is related to antimalarials, antivirals or screening tests, as between 20 and 60 percent of these medical products marketed in West Africa are counterfeit, and the number rises to 80 percent in Burkina Faso and Guinea.
According to the report, manufacturers of these counterfeit medicines took advantage of the complexities of monitoring product quality and tracking counterfeit products, as well as the “Covid-19” crisis, which led to a shortage of stock, to hike the consumption of counterfeit products, which were widely consumed by citizens.
The report explains that the trade in these counterfeit medical products and drugs includes all types of medicines, and that this trade generates huge profits, and that they are marketed at prices that are 30 to 50 percent cheaper than the original medicines.