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 May 15, 2005
World Health Officials Unveil Drug Monitoring System
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has unveiled the world's first Internet-based system to track fake drugs, BBC News Online reported Friday.

As much as 10 percent of the global prescription drug market is comprised of phony concoctions, amounting to $35 billion a year, WHO officials said at a news conference in the Philippines.

The problem is most critical in developing nations, where up to 25 percent of medicines are fake or substandard, the BBC quoted WHO officials as saying. The Rapid Alert System initially will track counterfeit drugs in Asia, and theoretically could be expanded globally, the organization said.

Given a lack of universal Internet access and other logistical concerns, no one expects the issue to be resolved instantly, a WHO regional official cautioned. "Of course this will not solve the problem overnight," he told the BBC.


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