The US and Cambodia launched a national public campaign on Monday to fight counterfeit drugs as part of its regional outreach program to lower Mekong countries.
David Richelsoph, US acting deputy chief of mission, calls the illegal products a “threat” to public health.
“Drug counterfeiting robs the Cambodian people of the faith and the confidence in medicines,” said David Richelsoph. “The United States is deeply committed to promoting the safety of the Cambodia’s drugs supply and the health of Cambodian People.”
In Cambodia medicines are widely sold with less restriction or supervision from health department. People can buy some prescribed medicines without a prescription from even a small grocery stand in remote area.
Posters with message: “Counterfeit medicine kills, while real medicine heals” will be distributed to public hospitals, health centers and dispensaries, said a health secretary of state Chou Yin Sim.
“Once people see this message, they’ll immediately understand it,” said Chou Yin Sim. “If they use counterfeit drugs, they are in danger; and if they use real medicine, it saves their lives.”
20,000 posters will be distributed in the two-week campaign, according to Chou Yin Sim.
“It’s a big campaign,” he said.
Health officials said circulation of illegal medicines has dropped from 0.5 percent in 2010 to 0.18 percent in 2011.