Wednesday, 20 May 2020

FAKE drugs alert

The World Health Organisation recently launched an internet-based Rapid Alert System for tracking drug cheats. One frightening survey result showed that in 2001 a third of anti-malarial drugs in the Mekong countries were counterfeit. A similar survey in 2004 showed the situation had gotten worse with nearly half the samples tested proving to be fake. The difference between wealthy and developing countries is huge when it comes to stemming the flow of fakes.
The most recent figures from Irish customs show 800 kilos of fake drugs were seized in the last two years, ranging from Viagra to steroids.

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Tuesday, 19 May 2020

FAKE drugs

There is a serious safety factor to Pfizer's investigation against the Mills family who are accused of selling counterfeit drugs over the internet (see yesterday's post). In February at the Toronto Police Fraud Squad conference, Lorne Lipkus, a lawyer specialising in counterfeiting, spoke about several deaths caused by counterfeit drugs. With Viagra and Cialis the danger is caused by too much of the active ingredient which can cause heart attacks. There have also been a number of documented cases in which fatalities were caused by counterfeit drugs such as in the 1990s in which 119 children died in India and Haiti after being treated with toxic cough syrup. In Niger 2,500 people died after 50,000 meningitis vaccine doses were supplied to the country.
Last year Ireland's EU Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, said the EU saw "massive diversification" in the number of counterfeit products. In 2007 the EU reported a 50 per cent increase in the number of counterfeit items that threaten human health, such as fake cigarettes, Viagra and food being removed from sale. Four million packges of fake drugs were also seized at the borders of the EU. The World Health Organisation expects the global market in counterfeit drugs to be worth €70 billion next year. Make sure you know where that magic pill came from.

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