Essential medicines and health products

A study on the public health and socioeconomic impact of substandard and falsified medical products


Publication details

Number of pages: 77
Publication date: November 2017
Languages: English
ISBN: 978-92-4-151343-2
WHO reference number: WHO/EMP/RHT/2017.02


The presence of substandard and falsified medical products in countries and their use by patients threatens to undermine progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. Such products may be of poor quality, unsafe or ineffective, threatening the health of those that take them. The problem of substandard and falsified medical products continues to increase, as globalized manufacturing and distribution systems grow ever more complex. That complexity heightens the risk that production errors will occur, or that medicines will degrade between factory and consumer. Increasing demand for medicines, vaccines and other medical products in almost every country, in addition to poor supply-chain management and the growth of e-commerce also creates opportunities for falsified medicines to be introduced into the supply chain.