Billions spent in Europe on fake medicines

By Kinetic · Feb 16, 2010 · Updated Feb 16, 2010 · ·
  1. Kinetic
    A survey sponsored by Pfizer stated that western Europeans spend an estimated 10.5 billion euros ($14.3 billion) every year on buying medicines illicitly and several of these medicines were fake. Billions-Spent-Europe.jpg

    Germans and Italians top the list in buying drugs without a prescription. This is done either over the Internet or on overseas trips. Nightclubs, shops and friends were other sources.

    Reports state that fake medicines should be avoided as they have ingredients that are toxic. World Health Organization states that this is a growing world health hazard.

    Companies like Pfizer, the world's biggest drugmaker, are affected by this practice. And critics say that this issue is being highlighted to implement tighter controls so that companies that manufacture drugs can save their brands.

    But the problem is being taken seriously by European officials. Outgoing European Union industry commissioner Guenter Verheugen had said that this issue is worrying him as 34 million fake tablets were seized in two months.

    Jim Thomson, chairman of the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines, said, "Tests by his group had shown that 62 percent of medicines purchased online were fake or substandard."

    About 14000 people who were questioned regarding this issue accepted that they had bought medicines illicitly.

    by Amit Pathania
    topnews us

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  1. malsat
    What dangerous compounds are present in these fake medicines? Why would anyone bother putting anything in a fake medicine, dangerous or not? I'm sure the majority of that 62% were probably substandard rather than fake.

    But I guess there's very little one can do to ascertain the authenticity of something like a tablet or capsule unless it's psychoactive.
  2. Terrapinzflyer

    While this is maybe a minor issue for those buying these for recreational purposes, it can be a matter of life or death for those that are seriously ill. There was a huge problem with this in Nigeria a few years back- with virtually all the medicines being stolen for sale on the black market with counterfeits replacing the local supply- it had devastating effects...

    Should also be noted that such problems only strengthen the case of the pharmaceutical industry and hamper attempts to allow cheaper sources to patients.

    Personally- the turtle thinks anyone selling a fake/substandard/cut drug deserves to the harshest punishment. Of course- he also feels the same way about those reaping insane profits from said drugs- including the pharmaceutical industry/insurance co's.
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