WHY BUY GENUINE DRUGS?

Many fake medicines are dummies deliberately created to resemble genuine drugs. Often they are utterly devoid of any active ingredient — but sometimes they may contain harmful or poisonous chemicals.
Substandard drugs do have some medicinal value, but may contain far lower doses of the active ingredient than they should. They are usually the product of negligent manufacturing and poor quality control rather than malicious criminal activity.

10-30% FAKE

The trade in counterfeit drugs has grown into a global industry worth billions of dollars, targeting mostly developing countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10–30 per cent of the medicines on sale could be fake in the developing world; the proportion is probably higher in some parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

SIDE EFFECTS

But both fake and substandard drugs have an immediate impact on patients who don’t receive the treatment they need. And more so in the case of substandard medicines, they can also have the disastrous side-effect of increasing resistance to treatment for serious diseases. For instance, if a patient with malaria takes antimalarial drugs that contain a weak dose of the active ingredient, the malaria parasite will only be partially cleared from the body. The parasites that remain will be those that have resisted the drug. When these multiply and go on to infect new individuals, drug resistance spreads.

DUMMIES

Many fake medicines are dummies deliberately created to resemble genuine drugs. Often they are utterly devoid of any active ingredient — but sometimes they may contain harmful or poisonous chemicals.

Substandard drugs do have some medicinal value, but may contain far lower doses of the active ingredient than they should. They are usually the product of negligent manufacturing and poor quality control rather than malicious criminal activity.

INCORRECT PACKEGES

There are sometimes very obvious telltale signs of counterfeiting — faulty spelling, for example, incorrect packaging or tablet size.

Yet counterfeiters are fast becoming better at replicating genuine drugs correctly, and are increasingly sophisticated when mimicking specific anti-counterfeit measures such as brand logos. This has pushed manufacturers to enhance anti-counterfeit technology