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2. Fight the Fakes Week

From 2 to 8 December the international partners of the Fight the Fakes campaign, one of them is the Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF), will be running the second Fight the Fakes Week. On a global level and focusing on diverse social media activities the second Fight the Fakes will raise awareness on the danger of counterfeit drugs. The motto will be “BE AWARE, SPEAK UP, FIGHT THE FAKES.”

Fight the Fakes is a global campaign aiming at education the public about the danger of substandard and falsified medicines. Founded in 2013 the campaign has now 37 Partners. For more information please see here.

One of the social media cards of the Fight the Fakes week 2019.


GPHF-Minilab™: Once again counterfeit drugs unmasked

Once again the GPHF-Minilab has exposed counterfeit drugs. The counterfeits were detected in the Chad and the Central African Republic during routine drug quality surveys. The fakes were counterfeits of antimalarial products. For more information please see here.


GPHF-Minilab™: Manual and further tests set a new standard

The Global Pharma Health Fund has completely revised the contents of its manuals for the GPHF-Minilab and for the first time summarized them in a single volume, now comprising 450 pages. At the same time, test methods for ten new active pharmaceutical ingredients have been added. Now, the GPHF-Minilab comes with a total of 100 thin-layer chromatographic test protocols for 100 prevailing active pharmaceutical ingredients to be found in a plethora of priority medicines for the treatment of transmissible and non-transmissible diseases. A demo version and more information can be found here.

The new Minilab manual.


Once again Minilab detect counterfeit medicine

Due to the GPHF-Minilab™ once again a counterfeit medicine has now been exposed. With the help of the mobile lab local healthcare organizations in Cameroon identified blood pressure tablets without the declared active ingredient. The relevant authorities were informed immediately and have released relevant alerts. For more information please see here.

Fake HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE 50 mg TABLETS currently circulating in Cameroon. Picture credit: Tubingen University


GPHF-Minilab online presentation on 20 February 2019

From 19 to 22 February, the International Pharmaceutical Student Federation (IPSF) will host each day one webinar on the topic of falsified and substandard medicines including the GPHF-Minilab story on Wednesday evening CET.

Understanding the need to educate future healthcare providers about issues they are going to face in their professional life sooner or later, IPSF together with Fight-the-Fakes Members decided to create a course of four online lectures with essential messages to guide, motivate and inspire young people to act and raise awareness about falsified medicines.

Therefore, IPSF engaged with World Healthcare Students' Alliance to reach out to medical, dental and veterinary students thus giving the event also a multidisciplinary dimension.

For seminar registration go to


Nigeria: Counterfeiting operation detected

Shortly before the turn of the year a production site for falsified medicines has been raided by police forces near the Nigerian port city Lagos. It is perhaps auspicious that the fight against the criminal activities of the counterfeiters will be successful in 2019 too. For more information please see here.


Fight the Fakes Week

From 3 to 9 December 2018 for the first time the Fight the Fakes campaign will launch an action week on the danger of counterfeit drugs. The Fight the Fakes week will focus on several social media activities to raise awareness and speak up on falsified medicines. The Fight the Fakes campaign is already supported by 37 organizations and one of them is the Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF). For more information please see here.


Greater Mekong Subregion: Fight against counterfeit drugs

At a conference in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh the Mekong neighboring states now announced an intensification of their joint efforts to fight substandard and falsified medicines. Experts assume that in Southeast Asia for instance 30 percent of antimalarial drugs are of poor quality.

To control the quality of the medicines offered in the Greater Mekong Subregion already more than 150 GPHF-Minilabs are in place and more training courses in the use of the mobile lab are scheduled for 2019. For more information please see here.


Appeal for global access to quality-assured medicines

“Every person has the right to expect that when they use a medicine or medical product, it works” – with this urgent appeal the conference “Medicine Quality & Public Health”, held in Oxford, UK from 23 to 28 September, has ended. According to figures issued by the WHO in November last year, 1 in 10 medical products in low and middle-income countries being of poor quality, a gross failure or an outright fake. In the so-called Oxford Statement the conference participants demand concrete measures to address this matter.

Dr. Richard Jähnke represented the Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF) during the conference, attended by 200 experts form 50 countries. Here the GPHF-Minilab™ was praised as an important contribution to fight counterfeit drugs and to improve the quality of the pharmaceutical supply. For more information please see here.

Prof. Dr. Moji Christianah Adeyeye, General Director of the Nigerian Medicines Control Agency and Dr. Richard Jähnke from the GPHF in Oxford.


GPHF will join international congress

The GPHF will participate in the international congress “Medicine Quality in Public Health” in September in Oxford, UK. Representing the GPHF, Dr. Richard Jähnke will speak on the GPHF-Minilab™ and the long-time experiences of the GPHF in fighting counterfeit drugs. The congress will take place from 23 to 28 September at the University of Oxford and is sponsored by the World Health Organization and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation among others. For more information please see here.


DIFAEM welcomes GPHF-Minilab™

In its new Annual Report the German Institute for Medical Mission (DIFAEM) welcomes the GPHF-Minilab™ and its benefits for the drug safety in developing countries. In the past years DIFAEM has established a network of minilabs with 17 partners in in eleven African countries to protect people from counterfeit drugs. DIFAEM recalls that back in 2017 a total of 1.032 samples were analyzed within the network and out of this seven samples were classified as serious and dangerous fake. In two cases the World Health Organization thereupon released an international drug alert.


Thousands of fake anti-malaria tablets detected

Once again the GPHF-Minilab™ has proven its importance for a safe and high-quality pharmaceutical supply. Thanks to the mobile lab of the GPHF 60.000 fake anti-malaria pills were identified in a hospital in Cameroon. The tablets only contained 2.6 percent of the substance declared. In case of need that kind of pills would have no effect. For more information please see here.

Cameroon: Fake quinine tablets with 2.6% of active pharmaceutical ingredient only. (Picture Credit: DIFAEM)


GPHF elected new members oft he board

On the occasion of its general meeting the Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF) has elected new board members. Dr. Johannes Waltz is now acting as Chairman and Dr. Jutta Reinhard-Rupp as Vice Chairwoman of the GPHF. The former Chairwoman Friederike Segeberg and the former Vice Chairman Frank Gotthardt decided not to run for reelection. Doris Meier will continue to serve as Treasurer of the GPHF.

Apart from that the members of the GPHF summarized a successful project work of the fund. Last year 41 more GPHF-Minilabs were delivered and the enlargement of the test methods of the mobile lab to detect counterfeit drugs was well on track too. Worldwide 836 labs are now in place and the methods are available for 90 important and widespread pharmaceutical ingredients.


GPHF-Minilab™ now capable of testing 90 drug compounds

The Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF) is pleased to announce the release of more test protocols for its Minilab. The new method inventory will now allow the testing of more high volume over-the-counter analgesic and antiallergic medicines. The Minilab supplement 2018 contains new test protocols for naproxen, mefenamic acid, diclofenac, cetirizine and chlorphenamine including appropriate co-formulations, for example with paracetamol and phenylephrine. Demo versions of the new test methods can be accessed in English, French and Spanish at this homepage.  


Once again falsified antibiotic identified

Thanks to the GPHF-Minilab™ once again a falsified antibiotic was identified. The tablet contains only 2.5 % of the declared dosage and is without any effect. For more information on the case from the Democratic Republic of Congo please see here.

Falsified antibiotic circulating in Congo DR. (Picture: DIFAEM)


Report on Dr. Jähnke and the GPHF-Minilab™

The international journal The Analytical Scientist now has published a ten-page report on Dr. Richard Jähnke from the GPHF and his work with the GPHF-Minilab™. The report is based on the Humanity in Science Award Dr. Jähnke was awarded with in 2017. For the report please see here.


Number of GPHF-Minilabs once again increased

Also in 2017 the number of GPHF-minilabs to protect people from the danger of counterfeit drugs increased. 41 new labs took up operation last year and to this day a total of 836 mobile labs are in practice, most of them in Africa and Southeast Asia. With the assistance of the GPHF-Minilab™ it is possible to identify counterfeit medicines rapid, reliable and at low costs. In many cases the minilab has already contributed to the identification of counterfeit drugs and to protect people from a sometimes deadly threat. For an update on the number of GPHF-Minilab in operation please see here.


Minilab Capacity Building in Nigeria

Late last year, fifteen people from the faith-based Central Medical Stores in Enugu (Nigeria) have been introduced to the Minilab’s operation procedures for rapid medicine quality monitoring. For more information please see here.

Group picture with the participants of the minilab training course in Enugu, Nigeria.


Minilab Training in the Chad

In the Chad in Central Africa another minilab training has taken place in November. A total of thirteen people from different healthcare facilities attended the course and were instructed in the use of the mobile lab for the identification of counterfeit drugs. Also during the training session a medicine with suspicious ingredients has been identified. For more information please see here.

Participants of the minilab training in the Chad.


WHO: New Reports on Counterfeit Drugs

For the first time in 10 years, WHO now has published two reports on the issue of falsified medicines. The first estimates the impact of substandard and falsified medical products in low- and middle-income countries  In conjunction with these estimates, WHO has launched a second report “Public health and socioeconomic impact of substandard and falsified products” highlighting the potential financial and public health impact of caused by these products. For more information on these reports please see here.


Minilab detects a counterfeit drug once again

Thanks to the GPHF-Minilab™ a falsified medicines without the declared antibiotic and, hence, non-effective and harmful was discovered once again. The incident occurred in Cameroon (West Africa), where staff members of the DIFÄM-EPN-Minilab-Network saw a suspicious Penicillin-V tablet at a street shop. A first quality check with the Minilab confirmed the first suspicion and much more sophisticated laboratory analysis at the Pharmaceutical Institute of the University in Tübingen made it clear: the sample certainly contains no antibiotic. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization issued an appropriate rapid medical product alert.

Pictures of the fake Penicillin-V discovered in Cameroon (Photos: University Tübingen)


Richard Jähnke received international science award

Pharmacist Richard Jähnke (PhD), GPHF-Minilab project manager at the Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF), won the international science prize “Humanity in Science Award” this year. The international jury of experts honoured the results of many years of research in method development by Jähnke for the detection of substandard and fake medicines in low-income countries. The collection of non-sophisticated test methods are allowing the verification of drug quality for a multitude of essential medicines in a fast, reliable and affordable fashion. This will help in safeguarding patients otherwise consuming and being victims of the dangerous trade in spurious medicines. Combined with appropriate lab ware, the GPHF-Minilab, these methods are used in almost a 100 countries across the world already. The “Humanity in Science Award” worth US$ 25.000 was launched in 2014 by the expert magazine The Analytical Scientist and is issued annually. The award rewards analytical and diagnostic methods having a direct impact to change the lives of people to the better.

Rich Whitworth, Chief Editor of The Analytical Scientist, presented the Humanity in Science Award 2017 to Dr. Richard Jähnke (right).


Minilab Training in Mauretania

End of September, staff from the National Drug Quality Control Laboratory of Mauretania have been trained for one week in the operation procedures of the newly acquired Minilab developed by the Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF). The trainer Nyaah Fidelis Bah Ngoh came from Cameroon where he works as a pharmacist in the Central Pharmacy of the Presbyterian Health Service.

The participants of the training in front of the National Drug Quality Control Laboratory in Mauretania. (Picture: Ngoh)


Minilab workshop at the University of Tübingen

During the second course “Pharmacy in International Health and Disaster Operations” at the pharmaceutical institute of the University of Tübingen once again a special workshop on the GPHF-Minilab™ took place. Dr. Richard Jähnke, project manager of the GPHF, presented the mobile lab and instructed the participants in its proper use. For more information please see here.

Dr. Jähnke (centre) demonstrated the correct operation with the minilab. (Picture: Heide)


International survey confirms the importance of the GPHF-Minilab™

Once again an international survey has confirmed the meaning of the GPHF-Minilab™ for the reliability and quality of medicine especially in low- and middle-income countries. By using the mobile lab of the GPHF in seven countries in Africa and Asia nearly 900 medicine samples were examined and 21 were confirmed to be substandard or falsified medical products. The survey has been run by the Difäm-EPN Minilab Survey Group, who is convinced, that surveillance for poor-quality medicines can be carried out by local organizations in low- and middle-income countries using a simple, low-cost technology. Such surveillance can identify an important subgroup of the circulating substandard and falsified medical products and can help to prevent them from causing harm in patients.

The survey, titled “Surveillance for falsified and substandard medicines in Africa and Asia by local organizations using the low-cost GPHF Minilab” now is published in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal. For more information please see here.

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