AJTMH Special Supplement Tackles Global Drug Quality Issues


The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene on Monday, April 20, released a special supplement that includes 17 articles on falsified and substandard medicines. This special issue, titled, “The Global Pandemic of Falsified Medicines: Laboratory and Field Innovations and Policy Perspectives,” covers a range of findings on the state of substandard medicines around the world.

Most of the articles address the issue of poor quality malaria drugs and were the focus of a discussion held at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. The supplement and the event come a few days before World Malaria Day, which is marked each year on April 25.

"These important scientific papers have been released just ahead of World Malaria Day, a time for everyone to pause and take stock of efforts to combat this global killer," said ASTMH President Chris Plowe, MD, MPH, FASTMH. "The findings on substandard drugs are an especially sharp reminder of how much we still have to do. We've come a long way in reducing malaria deaths in many countries. But if we lose momentum, those gains will be reversed--it has happened before. We need to be relentless."

A full list of articles along with press and explanatory materials is listed below.


Article Title

Submitting Institution

Corresponding Author

Available Press Materials


The Global Pandemic of Falsified Medicines: Laboratory and Field Innovations and Policy Perspectives: Summary

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Jim Herrington



Foreword: The Global Pandemic of Falsified Medicines: Laboratory and Field Innovations and Policy Implications

US Food and Drug Administration

Margaret Hamburg



Integration of Novel Low-Cost Colorimetric, Laser Photometric, and Visual Fluorescent Techniques for Rapid Identification of Falsified Medicines in Resource-Poor Areas: Application to Artemether–Lumefantrine

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Michael Green



Paper Test Cards for Presumptive Testing of Very Low Quality Antimalarial Medications

University of Notre Dame

Marya Lieberman



Rapid and Specific Drug Quality Testing Assay for Artemisinin and Its Derivatives Using a Luminescent Reaction and Novel Microfluidic Technology

Boston University

Muhammad H. Zaman



Chemical and Bioassay Techniques to Authenticate Quality of the Anti-Leishmanial Drug Miltefosine

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Harparkash Kaur



Quality of Antimalarials at the Epicenter of Antimalarial Drug Resistance: Results from an Overt and Mystery Client Survey in Cambodia

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Shunmay Yeung



Substandard Antimalarials Available in Afghanistan: A Case for Assessing the Quality of Drugs in Resource Poor Settings

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Toby Leslie



Counterfeit Drug Penetration into Global Legitimate Medicine Supply Chains: A Global Assessment

University of California San Diego

Tim Mackey

Press release 


Monitoring the Quality of Medicines: Results from Africa, Asia, and South America

United States Pharmacopeia

Mustapha Hajjou

 Press release 


Quality of Artemisinin-Containing Antimalarials in Tanzania's Private Sector—Results from a Nationally Representative Outlet Survey

Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT) Consortium Drug Quality Project Team and the IMPACT2 Study Team

Catherine Goodman or Harparkash Kaur


Quality of the Antibiotics—Amoxicillin and Co-Trimoxazole from Ghana, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Harparkash Kaur



A Repeat Random Survey of the Prevalence of Falsified and Substandard Antimalarials in the Lao PDR: A Change for the Better

Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network, University of Oxford

Patricia Tabernero

News article


Collaborative Health and Enforcement Operations on the Quality of Antimalarials and Antibiotics in Southeast Asia

University of Oxford

Paul Newton



Responding to the Pandemic of Falsified Medicines

National Institutes of Health, Fogarty International Center

Joel Breman

Press release


Estimated Under-Five Deaths Associated with Poor-Quality Antimalarials in Sub-Saharan Africa

Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy

Ramanan Laxminarayan



Stopping Murder by Medicine: Introducing the Model Law on Medicine Crime

University of Ottawa

Amir Attaran