Monday, April 27, 2015

Counterfeit drugs a real danger--maybe, sorta

The University of California, San Diego, issued a report in the Apr 20 Am J of Tropical Med and Hygiene that says bogus drugs are a real problem and the scope is not understood by most people.

When you took that blood pressure pill this morning, was it the real deal?

Counterfeit means either the medicine or the source is mislabeled to make the medication appear genuine.

The researchers based their study on data from the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI).  This data comes from their members, law enforcement, drug regulators, the pharma industry, and media reports.

They look at drugs in legitimate supply chains--pharmacies and hospitals.

From 2009-2011, there were 1,510 incident reports found by the PSI. But nobody knows how big the problem really is, the researchers said.

According to an old study--2000--the World Health Organization reported that a third of counterfeit drugs contained no active  ingredient--and more than 20% had incorrect active ingredients or the wrong ingredients.

The bottom line? The scientists said they had insufficient data to make meaningful interventions or policy changes.

They said they hoped this study--"We don't know anything"--will cause countries and people to make meaningful changes to surveillance and securing of the supply change.

Kind of a wet noodle, if you ask me.


Caren Kagan Evans said...

97% of online pharmacies don't adhere to U.S. laws and 50% of all "medicines" sold online are counterfeit -- they may include no active ingredients at all or contain deadly products such as rat poison or floor wax. Learn more at

Star Lawrence said...

The 50% sounds way high to me--will check this site.

Star Lawrence said...

Did not find the 50% figure--but this site does seem legit and contains interesting info. Check it out.