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Public awareness and identification of counterfeit drugs in Tanzania: from the perspective of antimalarial drugs

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Document pages: 9 pages

Abstract: The illegal trade in counterfeit antimalarial drugs from background is a major setback in the fight against malaria. There is little information on the public s ability to recognize and identify counterfeit drugs. Objective therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess public awareness and the ability to identify counterfeit antimalarial drugs based on simple observations such as drug appearance, packaging, labels and leaflets. Methodology a cross-sectional study was conducted using structured questionnaires and checklists managed by interviewers. Respondents were asked to find out the difference between real and fake antimalarial drugs provided to them. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. As a result, most respondents (163 (55.6 ) were able to distinguish between true and falsecounterfeit antimalarial drugs. Respondents with knowledge on health effects of counterfeit drugs were more likely to identify genuine and counterfeit drugs than their counterparts (; OR = 2.95; 95 CI: 1.47–5.65). The majority of respondents, 190 (64.8 ), perceived the presence of counterfeit drugs to be a big problem to the community. Conclusions. A substantial proportion of respondents were able to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit antimalarial drugs. Public empowerment in identifying counterfeit drugs by simple observations is a major step towards discouraging the market of counterfeit drugs.

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