Counterfeit drugs discounting your health?

 Customers purchasing prescription medications through online pharmacies should exercise caution, reports The Diabetes Resource. Some “discount” drugs, like those purchased from fake online pharmacies, are made with inferior active ingredients, altered formulations and even toxic additives. According to a report from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, 96% of online pharmacies analyzed operate outside state and federal laws, and 81% do not require a valid prescription.  

In the United States alone, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized as many as three million counterfeit medicines targeting the chronically ill, including fake penicillin, AIDS, and arthritis medicines. Counterfeiters only care about profit, putting the lives’ of the unsuspecting chronically ill at risk – perhaps the most vulnerable population, as they need their medicine to stay healthy. Check our new infographic for a visual representation of the breadth of the problem: Global Epidemic: Counterfeiters targeting chronically ill.

In the United States alone, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized as many as three million counterfeit medicines targeting the chronically ill, including fake penicillin, AIDS, and arthritis medicines. Counterfeiters only care about profit, putting the lives’ of the unsuspecting chronically ill at risk – perhaps the most vulnerable population, as they need their medicine to stay healthy. Check our new infographic for a visual representation of the breadth of the problem: Global Epidemic: Counterfeiters targeting chronically ill.

Think that online pharmacy looks legitimate? Consider this: counterfeiters may be using the web to sell their substandard, tainted, or even toxic pills. In fact, it’s estimated that about 50% of medicine sold through fake online pharmacies may be counterfeit.

Counterfeit treatments for cancer, diabetes, asthma, heart disease and other serious illnesses have all been discovered on these fake online pharmacies. It’s especially important that those living with chronic disease - who may be dependent on the integrity of their medication for life and health - exercise caution when ordering their medicines online. Read more in the new report, A Risky Proposition: How Opening the U.S. to Foreign Medicines Poses a Risk to Chronically Ill Americans.  
Fortunately for America, it’s estimated only a tiny fraction of the global supply of counterfeit drugs makes it into the U.S. drug supply.  All that could change, however, if Washington opens the closed system that has protected our medicines well for decades, and allows importation of foreign drugs.

Think that online pharmacy looks legitimate? Consider this: counterfeiters may be using the web to sell their substandard, tainted, or even toxic pills. In fact, it’s estimated that about 50% of medicine sold through fake online pharmacies may be counterfeit.

Counterfeit treatments for cancer, diabetes, asthma, heart disease and other serious illnesses have all been discovered on these fake online pharmacies. It’s especially important that those living with chronic disease - who may be dependent on the integrity of their medication for life and health - exercise caution when ordering their medicines online. Read more in the new report, A Risky Proposition: How Opening the U.S. to Foreign Medicines Poses a Risk to Chronically Ill Americans.  

Fortunately for America, it’s estimated only a tiny fraction of the global supply of counterfeit drugs makes it into the U.S. drug supply.  All that could change, however, if Washington opens the closed system that has protected our medicines well for decades, and allows importation of foreign drugs.

Counterfeit medicines claiming to treat cancer, diabetes, asthma, heart disease and other serious illnesses all have been discovered on [fake online pharmacy sites]. Given this largely unknown public health threat, it is important that all patients – particularly those living with chronic disease —their families, caregivers and health care professionals – exercise great caution when ordering medicine online.

PSM Report “A Risky Proposition”  

Click here to read the report. 

A Risky Proposition: How Opening the U.S. to Foreign Medicines Poses a Risk to Chronically Ill Americans 
Today, the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) released a new report, A Risky Proposition: How Opening the U.S. to Foreign Medicines Poses a Risk to Chronically Ill Americans, detailing the dangers posed by counterfeit medicines to those American’s living with chronic disease if the secure and safe U.S. medicine supply chain is opened to foreign drugs through importation.  PSM’s latest report alerts patients and caregivers to a growing epidemic: counterfeit, fake and tainted medicines.  134 million Americans – nearly half of all adults- suffer from at least one chronic disease with many depending on prescription medication for life and health.  At the same time, many experts are concerned that the growing number of fake internet pharmacies provides a global distribution channel for fake or tainted medicines, making it much easier for criminal drug rings to sell their potentially ineffective and harmful products to unsuspecting Americans. Click here to read the report.

A Risky Proposition: How Opening the U.S. to Foreign Medicines Poses a Risk to Chronically Ill Americans

Today, the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) released a new report, A Risky Proposition: How Opening the U.S. to Foreign Medicines Poses a Risk to Chronically Ill Americans, detailing the dangers posed by counterfeit medicines to those American’s living with chronic disease if the secure and safe U.S. medicine supply chain is opened to foreign drugs through importation.  PSM’s latest report alerts patients and caregivers to a growing epidemic: counterfeit, fake and tainted medicines.  134 million Americans – nearly half of all adults- suffer from at least one chronic disease with many depending on prescription medication for life and health.  At the same time, many experts are concerned that the growing number of fake internet pharmacies provides a global distribution channel for fake or tainted medicines, making it much easier for criminal drug rings to sell their potentially ineffective and harmful products to unsuspecting Americans. Click here to read the report.

Now you can text to discover fake drugs

A Cambridge, MA-based company has developed a new system to help identify counterfeit medicines. In the “mobile product” authentication process, people can use their cell phones to text a number on the package to confirm that the medicines inside are authentic. This innovative tool will help those in the  developing world, where counterfeit medicines are rampant. Read the full story by clicking here

Source Boston.com

The rules we have in place today are over 20 years old. Technology has evolved, and the counterfeiters are more capable. It is time to modernize our system to ensure the integrity of prescription medications in America. We need to change current law so when officials seize counterfeit drugs coming into the U.S., they can destroy them rather than simply returning them to the counterfeiters.

– Utah Congressman Jim Matheson, who re-introduced H.R. 3026, Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act, a bill to provide a way for authorities to track, seize and destroy counterfeit drugs.

Cancer, HIV and Hemophilia Medicines Counterfeited

Cancer, HIV and hemophilia medicines are among the most counterfeited medical products in Argentina. Counterfeiters have moved from lifestyle drugs to counterfeiting life-saving medicines, putting the health and safety of unsuspecting consumers at risk.

Reports like these highlight the need to keep the U.S. medicine supply chain closed and protected. Vigilance keeps the global counterfeit medicine problem largely outside our borders.   However, proposed drug importation legislation could inadvertently open our borders to counterfeit imported medicine, potentially threatening the safety of our drug supply.