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Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 2014 May;107(2):121-6. doi: 10.1007/s13149-014-0354-9. Epub 2014 Mar 17.

[Fake drugs, what are we talking about? Counterfeit drugs, informal market, quality of pharmaceutical… Thought from an anthropological study led in Benin].

[Article in French]

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IRD UMR216, Mère et enfant face aux infections tropicales, Paris, 75006, France,


This paper questions the current highlighted question of "fake drugs" in the media and through institutional speeches. After a brief reminder of the expressions used previously in France and in the French-speaking countries of West Africa, the realities which recover various phenomena will be discussed as well as the hotchpotch often made between them: the phenomenon of counterfeit drugs, that of substandard medicines and the recently legally defined in Europe phenomenon of falsified drugs. Then, the data of an anthropological study led from 2005 till 2007 about the informal market of pharmaceutical in Benin will allow to underline the differences which exist between this phenomenon and that of counterfeit drugs as well as that of falsified drugs. Finally, the political and economic stakes which recover these questions will be highlighted and will explain why "fantasized" speeches are often given about them. The conclusion will stop on the problem of substandard medicines and some of the ways to solve it will be sketched.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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