Tuesday 15 December 1998

African health authorities have been trying to get unauthorised vendors of medicines off the streets, but some observers feel they should also keep a close eye on the operations of pharmacies. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for example, the medicines sold in some pharmacies, both public and private, are no less dangerous than those sold on the streets.

The National Society of Pharmacists of the DRC say just five per cent of the drugs sold in the DRC undergo quality control tests, especially since the laboratories where such tests are carried out are ill-equipped. According to some estimates, around three-fifths of the drugs sold on Africa's streets are spurious.

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