Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Could you be taking fake pills?

…Yipes! Parade (Feb 18, 2007) contained a story by Tom Zoellner that says even mainstream pharmacies may be selling counterfeit pills.

…People take them and don’t get well—or may get sicker.

…The World Health Organization says that up to 10% of pills sold worldwide are counterfeit.

…Purveyors of street drugs find less risk in hawking Lipitor or Ambien.

…Pfizer even has its own police force out trying to track these idiots down.

…Recently some Lipitor sold in the Midwest started tasting bitter to patients—and the fakes were discovered,

…Some suppliers also uplabel—say a 10 mg pill is really a more expensive 40 mg pill.

…The Internet is rife with bogus drugs—so beware. Anyone can sell fake medicine. This is not regulated on the internet.

…This is not huge yet—53 recorded cases in the US last year, up from a handful.

…Anyway, these bums don’t want to kill people—it would be like a parasite killing the host or Granny axing the goldern goose.

…Therefore, expensive long-term drugs such as AIDS medicine may be counterfeited. Erectile dysfunction meds—same.

…Drug wholesalers are fighting back, attaching Radio Frequency Identification devices (RFID), which track drugs from factory to pharmacy, no matter how many middle men come in between.

…As it is, 40 million prescriptions handed out each year aren’t what they are claimed to be. In some cases, someone knows about this and did it deliberately.

…What can you do? Don’t buy drugs online unless it’s from a legit pharmacy. Look at your pills—is the color running in your damp hand or is the logo all funky? If pills are suddenly a different color, your pharmacy may have changed generics—but ask. And if you suddenly have your symptoms return—ask the pharmacist.


Star said...

More on this in the NYT:


More than half the malaria drugs in SE Asia may be fake, etc...

Star said...

So funny! Following my comment some mouthbreather put spam for online drugs. Gonna be a great Hump Day!