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Fake Drugs and People’s Perceptions of Healthcare Delivery System in Akwa Ibom State

FAKE DRUGS AND PEOPLE’S PERCEPTIONS OF HEALTHCARE DELIVERY SYSTEM IN AKWA IBOM STATE

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

  1. Background to the study

Drugs offer a simple, cost-effective solution to many health problems provided they are available, affordable, and properly used. Drugs are essential for the provision of both curative and preventive health care.The private sector provides most of the health care delivery in Nigeria. Patients or end users obtain drugs from hospital pharmacies (public or private) or retail outlets (pharmacies or patent medicine shops, illegal vendors, and hawkers). The reality is a chaotic drug distribution network handled by both professionals and nonprofessionals comprising both registered and unregistered premises.

Fake Drugs and People’s Perceptions of Healthcare Delivery System in Akwa Ibom State

Drug Faking is a global public health problem, because the effects can be felt from both the country of manufacture to the recipient countries. Hence, national measures for combating of fake drugs in country might be insufficient because of the advanced sophistications of those who manufactures and sells them (bates, 2008). Nigeria is not an exception in the problems of fake drugs till date. Some people still prefer to self medicate when they are ill, and often time the drugs are bought from unlicensed drug vendors, whose drug quality is not sure. Through the past two decades in Nigeria, the problem of fake drugs has been a very big issue. In addition, fake drugs proved a major factor in contributing to high death rates. Over 150 children died in 1989 as a result of a formulation error in a drug. Such problems led to the establishment of NAFDAC, which would help create a fake-drug-free environment (NAFDAC consumer safety, 2003).

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Stanback, (2011) asserted that fake drugs are defined differently in different countries. The definitions used in the various World Health Organization (WHO) Member States show that the problem of fake drugs varies from country to country.Fake Drug occurs globally, although there are claims that it is more common in developing countries with weak regulatory systems.  In developing countries, the most disturbing issue is the common availability of counterfeit drugs for the treatment of life-threatening conditions such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. Use of fake drugs can result in treatment failure, harm, or even death (Dillon, 2014). Public confidence in healthcare delivery systems may be eroded following the use and/or detection of counterfeit drugs. Counterfeiting is difficult to detect, investigate, quantify, or stop. Factors facilitating the occurrence of counterfeit drugs include weak penal sanctions and weak or absent national drug regulatory authorities, among others.Heightening vigilance and awareness of counterfeiting among healthcare providers is one of the measures to combat drug faking.

The aim of this study is to document the relationship between fake drugs and people’s perceptions healthcare delivery system in Akwa Ibom State using Uyo city as the case study.

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Fake Drugs and People’s Perceptions of Healthcare Delivery System in Akwa Ibom State

 Statement of the Problem

Fake drugs are believed to be poisonous, toxic, threats to life, health risks, without therapeutic usefulness, with insufficient therapeutic benefits; and can cause treatment failures, death, disease complications, worsening of disease conditions and development of drug resistance, delayed recovery and human organ damage. Because of its effects on the human system, the confidence of both the health care professionals and consumers in our health care delivery system is in doubt.

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In the past, Nigerian government through her regulatory agencies such as NAFDAC had made serious efforts toward solving this problem. The regulatory agencies have increased public awareness on fake drugs, ensured that drugs in use in Nigeria are approved and registered, known fake drug manufacturers are banned from marketing their products in Nigeria, re-inspection of production facilities to ensure that such facilities still conform to appropriate standards, and persons caught with fake drugs were made to pay heavy penalties. Also, the agencies have interacted with some foreign governments to ensure that such countries pharmaceutical industries export to Nigeria only genuine products.

This study therefore investigates the relationship between fake drug and people’s perception of healthcare delivery system in Akwa Ibom State.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

Following the rapid increase of fake drugs in Nigeria, this study was therefore investigated upon in order to achieve the following specific objectives:

  1. To determine the effect of fake drugs in human healthcare delivery system
  2. To ascertain the factors that facilitates the Preponderance of fakes drugs in the state
  3. To examine the measures of limiting the prevalence of fake drugs in the state

1.4 Research Questions

            To understand the varying views of the public about their perception on fake drugs, the following questions have been put forward to guide the researcher in carrying out the investigation.

  1. Does fake drugs affects human healthcare delivery system?
  2. What are the factors that facilitate the preponderance of fake drugs in the state?
  3. What measures can be suggested curb the prevalence of fake drugs in the state?
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1.5 Significance of the Study

The study sought to investigate the relationship between fake drugs and people’s perception of healthcare delivery system.

It is my belief that this study will increase the level of commitment of people to their health care needs. It will also motivate people to ensure that the quality of drugs, health care services and qualification of their health care providers are as prescribed and regulated by government. It will also encourage people to acquire self–care knowledge and skills that they need to participate more actively in fostering their own health and in shaping conditions that influence their own health.

Finally, it will help various drug agencies to provide necessary measure in limiting the preponderance of fake drugs in the state.

1.6       Scope and Limitations of the Study

Due to the brand nature of this type of research, the scope of this work has been reduced to Uyo Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State.

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

For easy appreciation/understanding of the key variables as used in the context of this study, there is every need to give their conceptual and operational meanings.

Fake drugs: A fake drug is a medication or pharmaceutical product which is produced and sold with the intent to deceptively represent its origin, authenticity or effectiveness.

Faking: Faking is the act of copying a piece of work (literary, artistic or industrial) in violation of the author’s or inventor’s rights and often to the prejudice of the consumer.

Drugs: A drug is a chemical which is given to people in order to treat or prevent an illness or disease.

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