Friday, January 11, 2008

Bogus pills and pacemakers


…HA once had a cardiologist who was accused of buying pacemakers on eBay and implanting them.

…Even then, those might have been built by a reputable supplier.

…A big worry these days is devices and pills slapped together offshore and containing don’t-want-to-think-about-it.

…The FDA is all over this, but it is still happening.

…The World Health Organization estimates that 10% of drugs are counterfeit. This may be as much as half in some countries.

…Organized crime has a tentacle in this, as well as other lesser grifters and criminals.

…In 2003, counterfeit Procrit (used to treat anemia from chemo) was found in US pharmacies and hospitals. There was no active drug in it and the solution was tainted, which made it even more dangerous to immune-compromised people.

…Now, the internet makes it even easier to pawn garbage off on people. Counterfeit Tamiflu and Cialis are just two such fake drugs being sold.

…Counterfeit Colgate toothpaste has been found in some discount stores. A clue: Misspellings on the packages.

…Some counterfeit mesh used to repair hernias has also been found to be counterfeit and tainted.

…Don’t even think about what is in that botox shot. Some doctor in Florida shot some industrial strength stuff from the internet into people and put them in the hospital for months on a ventilator.

…Always buy from state-licensed pharmacies. If you buy from a website, looks for the VIPSS seal.

…If you get a device, make sure the doctor registers it after implanting it.

…And maybe make sure he or she didn’t use Paypal to buy it.

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