Monday, April 27, 2015
Counterfeit drugs a real danger--maybe, sorta
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.