The Impact of Improved Detection Technology on Drug Quality: A Case Study of Lagos, Nigeria

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Nigeria is one of the few countries seriously affected by counterfeit drugs to have actively combated them. As part of this effort its regulatory agency, NAFDAC, has deployed handheld spectrometers to identify fake drugs in the market. In this Outlook, we analyze anti-malarial drug samples procured randomly from pharmacies in the largest city in Nigeria, the port of Lagos prior to and after the spectrometers were deployed. There is a statistically significant drop in the number of drugs failing quality control tests after the spectrometers were introduced, and a noticeable disparity in price between those passing and those failing tests as well. While it is not likely that the deployment of the spectrometers is the only reason for the improvement in drug quality, and the segmentation of the market, it is surely a major factor.

Roger Bate is the Legatum Fellow in Global Prosperity at AEI. Aparna Mathur is a resident scholar at AEI.

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About the Author

 

Roger
Bate
  • Roger Bate is an economist who researches international health policy, with a particular focus on tropical disease and substandard and counterfeit medicines. He also writes on general development policy in Asia and Africa. He writes regularly for AEI's Health Policy Outlook.
  • Phone: 202-828-6029
    Email: rbate@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Katherine Earle
    Phone: (202) 862-5872
    Email: katherine.earle@aei.org

 

Aparna
Mathur
  • Aparna Mathur is an economist who writes about taxes and wages. She has been a consultant to the World Bank and has taught economics at the University of Maryland. Her work ranges from research on carbon taxes and the impact of state health insurance mandates on small firms to labor market outcomes. Her research on corporate taxation includes the widely discussed coauthored 2006 "Wages and Taxes" paper, which explored the link between corporate taxes and manufacturing wages.
  • Phone: 202-828-6026
    Email: amathur@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Hao Fu
    Phone: 202-862-5214
    Email: hao.fu@aei.org

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