It is common in this country for physicians to form alliances of sorts with local pharmacies in order to supplement their meagre government salary of 1200-1400/month (approximately $175 USD); many pharmacies carry only specific brand-name drugs and the physicians, in turn, prescribe those medications exclusively--the profits of which are then shared between the two parties.
In late November 2006, the Ethiopian Drug Administration and Control Authority (DACA) closed down over 60 local pharmeceutical agents for “failure to comply with national quality control standards” after recent visits to manufacturing headquarters in India apparently revealed shockingly inadequate production conditions.
It was further discovered that several of these Indian drug companies initially submitted an entirely different drug for testing (capable of passing quality control inspection procedures) at the national Louis Pasteur Laboratory in Addis. Then, upon being awarded the contract, quality of the drug promptly declined—resulting in an entirely different, sub-standard product to be exported and distributed within Ethiopia.
Sources suggest that the majority of the Ethiopian agents recently put out of business following this investigation were well aware of this dangerous practice and “accordingly compensated”.
Though quality national pharmeceutical manufacturing companies do exist in Ethiopia, they are repeatedly forced out of the market, unable to compete with the “low-cost” generic drugs generously supplied by the Indian market.
And so it goes.