by Steve C.F. Au-Yeung and Alice Ngan
Steve C.F. Au-Yeung
Of the 20,000+ drugs that are sold on markets around the world, the 2004 WHO list of drugs that are important in the management of disease that impacts public health amounts to 316. This suggests that there is a great deal of similarity in the drugs that are sold on the market for the treatment of disease. As a consequence the population is repeating similar medication. It is also recognized that close to 50 percent of all drugs that are used are ineffective. Moreover, 10 percent of all drugs sold worldwide are fake and the 2004 figure suggests this latter market is as big as US$ 32 billion. These dilemmas negate the efforts of governments worldwide to fight disease effectively because these practices are believed to be an indirect cause responsible for the development of drug resistance.
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