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Advances in Public Health
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6254157, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/6254157
Research Article

Public Awareness and Identification of Counterfeit Drugs in Tanzania: A View on Antimalarial Drugs

1Institute of Allied Sciences, Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences, Mwanza, Tanzania
2School of Pharmacy, Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences, Mwanza, Tanzania
3Department of Pharmacology, Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences, Mwanza, Tanzania

Received 20 February 2016; Revised 9 May 2016; Accepted 17 May 2016

Academic Editor: Ronald J. Prineas

Copyright © 2016 Linus Mhando et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. The illicit trade in counterfeit antimalarial drugs is a major setback to the fight against malaria. Information on public awareness and ability to identify counterfeit drugs is scanty. Aim. Therefore, the present study aimed at assessing public awareness and the ability to identify counterfeit antimalarial drugs based on simple observations such as appearance of the drugs, packaging, labelling, and leaflets. Methodology. A cross-sectional study was conducted using interviewer administered structured questionnaire and a checklist. Respondents were required to spot the difference between genuine and counterfeit antimalarial drugs given to them. Data was analysed using SPSS version 20. Results. The majority of respondents, 163 (55.6%), were able to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit 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.