One of the most common problems plaguing the medical community and consumers in general is the widespread supply of counterfeit drugs. Today, counterfeit medicine producers have almost perfected the process of producing these fake drugs and can make them look almost exactly like the real thing.
What are Counterfeit Drugs?
Counterfeit drugs in simple terms are Fake drugs and can be of two types:
- The authentic medicine is repackaged, It may be contaminated or contain the wrong dose.
- Customers are sold a placebo which does not contain the genuine active ingredients
Dangers of counterfeit drugs
The major problem is that these counterfeit drugs include dangerous toxic substances like lead paint, boric acid, floor wax, pesticides and rat poison- to name a few which can be extremely deteriorating to health. Moreover these counterfeit drugs are most definitely not produced in clean hygienic facilities or under stringent conditions, unlike authentic medicines.
A huge number of medications are critical for treatment of some very common diseases which are associated with High mortality risk like Coronary Artery disease, Hypertension, Diabetes, Infections and so on. And often times the management of these diseases is as simple as taking the right medications. It is terrifying to imagine the risks we will be putting ourselves at by taking fake medicines instead.
Taking these counterfeit medicines is basically like gambling with your health and you never know what side effects you may experience.
Why should you be aware of this issue?
Counterfeiters are continuously searching for new methods to spread their fake drugs around and have discovered how easy it is to do so by using the Internet. Several professional counterfeiters are able to design fake pharmaceutical company websites so skilfully that consumers are completely taken in. Another factor that is contributing to this huge problem is the fact that people are obtaining these counterfeit drugs from fake online pharmacies offering special schemes out of ignorance.
These websites all guarantee U.S. FDA-approved medicines and at cheaper prices than retail pharmacies which catches the attention of unsuspecting buyers. They even ask potential customers to fill in medical questionnaires and provide medical records for their “medical professionals” to review before suggesting what medicines they should purchase. Another issue you should be aware of is the fact that if you pay for these counterfeit medicines using your credit card, you could be jeopardizing more than your health. You could also be putting yourself at risk for identity theft.
The problem of counterfeit drugs is rampant in India
India is amongst the top 3 countries facing huge problems with the increasing production of counterfeit drugs. The United States faces the biggest threat from this fake drug issue closely followed by China, India and the United Kingdom. Studies have shown that consumption of counterfeit drugs accounts for the deaths of close to a million people in a year.
The most likely reason for this issue worsening at a speed and making headlines in India is the lack of strict law enforcement and no severe penalties in place compared to the huge profits made by this treachery. This practise is also responsible for increasing drug resistance in the country along with improper self-medication and inadequate access to medical care and effective treatments in far off regions.
Many people die every year because these counterfeit medicines poison them or they don’t effectively treat their diseases. In order to put an end to this menace, serious steps have to be taken to monitor the quality of drugs supplied to consumers and proper anti-counterfeiting strategies have to be followed by the Government along with frequent raids of suspected facilities.