The search for right medication is a situation that every one of us is faced at least once in our lives; whether it is for our own health or the health of a family member. After the military industry, the most profitable business in the world is pharmacology, production and distribution of drugs.
The harsh increase in consumption of medicines and dietary supplements in the past decade; the general globalization and free trade have created more favorable conditions for the production of substandard and fake drugs.
WHO has developed a definition for it by which “the counterfeiting of drugs is a deliberate fraud and misleading labeling of finished drugs or ingredients used in their production in terms of identity, composition and / or origin.”
Substandard medicines are products whose composition and ingredients do not meet the set quality specification; or do not comply with it and thus are ineffective and often dangerous for patients. The industry of counterfeit drugs annually earns more than $ 220 billion, making it more profitable than multiple narcotics.
It’s estimated that some 15% of the drugs on the world pharmaceutical market are fake, but greater is the possibility in the rise of fake and counterfeit drugs in the country.
The consequences of taking counterfeit drugs are different, and can even be fatal. It depends on whether such drugs contain active substances (compounds that act on the symptom of the disease) or toxic substances. If the medication does not contain sufficient amounts or active substances the same will not work.
Thus, in 2007 in America a cure for fatness has been placed in the market that didn’t contained no active substance. Medicament for the treatment of schizophrenia and preparation for lowering cholesterol; both also without active substance, were found in the legal supply chain in the UK in 2006 – 2007 year.
On the other hand, if the drug has too much content of active substance, there is a high risk of overdose and toxic effects. Often, falsified medicine may contain toxic substances. There is evidence that in 1992, 230 Bangladeshi children died due to use of paracetamol syrup – equipped with antifreeze!
According to the international regulatory bodies in the area, most counterfeit drugs are from the group of analgesics, antibiotics, hormones and steroids. In our region, especially current counterfeits are those who affect potency and hormonal preparations, which reflects recent confirmation of forgery drug – testosterone depot.
Criminals in China and India make huge profits from the illegal production and trade of tablets that contain nothing more than chalk or washing powder.
How to recognize it:
That a drug is counterfeit, you can easily suspect on the basis of inadequate packaging; the number of registration decision and the lack of proper guidance in your native language. If you suspect that a medication does not match the characteristics that once you have used; or does not give the expected result, it is reason enough that the same is counterfeit.
Consumers may not know that the medicines they’ve purchased are counterfeits. That’s why it’s important to purchase prescription products from a pharmacy and pharmacist with whom you’re familiar.
Patients have noticed a different taste in some cases,consistency,or appearance of products that are later identified as being counterfeit; or they may have a different reaction to the counterfeit drug. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything rare about the medicine you are taking.
According to the world average, almost 50% of medicines purchased over the Internet are false. Also, the drugs should never be bought at markets or below stall, but only in pharmacies. Pharmacies on the other hand must not allow in their range; drugs that don’t have an appropriate composition, allowed from the Office for drugs.
In June 2005—following the discovery that an accredited pharmacy in Canada had dispensed counterfeit Norvasc; Pfizer’s popular blood pressure medicine—11 reported deaths were examined for a link to the fakes. The regional coroner reported that of the 11 deaths, the counterfeit medicine could not be ruled out as a cause for four of them.
In October of 2004, Pfizer investigated this online pharmacy requesting to be based in Canada. In reality, the domain name for the site was hosted in Korea and registered in St. Kitts. An order placed on the website was delivered, not from a pharmacy in Canada; but in a plain envelope with an Oklahoma City postmark. The research revealed that the return address was an empty lot.
Source:Pharmaceutical Security Institute; www.un.org