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Book Talk: Fake medicines are a deadly global problem!

6. mars 2018 kl. 11:30 - 12:00

In some areas, up to 30% of all medicines may be fake or substandard. “No countries remain untouched by this issue,” says the WHO.

Come to Book Talk at the Medicine and Health Library and hear Muhammad Zaman be interview by Stein Mortensholm about Zamans new book “Bitter pills – The Global War on Counterfeit Drugs”. In collaboration with the Global Health seminar.

When: March 6th 11:30am -12:00am
Where: Medicine and Health Library, the Knowledge Centre (2nd floor)
Language: English
Bring your lunch – we will serve coffee and tea.
The event is free of charge. Welcome!

More about the project and book:
Medicines can be contaminated by design or carelessness, degraded by heat or bad transportation and storage, contain the wrong dosage and ingredients, or include toxic chemicals or fillers like chalk. Antimalarial medications and antibiotics are among the drugs most commonly found to be substandard, falsely labeled or counterfeit, says the World Health Organization. A 2015 study found that “consumption of poor-quality antimalarials” resulted in more than 122,000 deaths of children under 5 in 39 sub-Saharan African countries in 2013.

Muhammad H. Zaman, a professor at Boston University and professor II at NTNU, Department of Public Health and Nursing, has been working to develop a low-cost, portable and fast way to measure a drug’s purity. As a scientist, he says, “I felt a sense of responsibility. Not all problems can be solved by economics and politics. With the tools I had, I have an equal responsibility.”

“At some point, you need to test what’s inside the pill,” Dr. Zaman says. “You need to know exactly how much is in there.” He says that his device, called PharmaChk, does just that. It can also measure how quickly a drug’s active ingredient dissolves and is released, which suggests whether the drug will work as it should.

More about the speaker:
Muhammad H. Zaman, Boston University and NTNU
Muhammad is professor Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His primary appointment is Professor of Biomedical Engineering and International Health at Boston University, but also Professor II at Department of Public Health and Nursing, NTNU
Prof. Zaman’s current research is focused on developing robust technologies for high-value healthcare problems in the developing world, including in conflict zones, particularly in the area of maternal and child health. In 2013, Scientific American named a technology from Zaman lab, PharmaChk, among the 10 technologies that will change the world.

In addition to his research, Prof. Zaman is actively engaged in improving access to quality engineering education, with a multi-disciplinary focus on innovation, in a number of countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia. He is currently involved in setting up biomedical engineering departments at universities in Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Ghana and Ethiopia that focus on addressing local challenges through innovation and technical capacity building. In addition to his research papers, his newspaper columns have appeared in newspapers around the world, including the New York Times.

More about the interviewer:
Stein Mortensholm, NTNU
Stein is senior adviser in Communication Division, NTNU.

Among his duties is to coordinate program for visits from government and other relations, speech-writing, communication training, hosting and moderating NTNU events, development and implementation of communication strategies and media contact in connection with major events such as Starmus and Lerchendalkonferansen. He has been interviewing many well-known persons visiting NTNU during the last years.

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