Counterfeit medications are a huge problem in the developing world. It is estimated that worldwide 30% of drugs are counterfeit and they
It has been estimated that counterfeit antimalarials contribute to nearly 450,000 preventable deaths every year,
many of them children.
I hope there is a special circle in hell just for those who would make counterfeit antimalarials.
But there are more than antibiotics that are counterfeit: HIV/AIDS and cancer medication, antidepressants, erectile dysfunction, weight-loss, and allergy medications.
Counterfeit medications are much less of a problem in the West thanks to regulation of prescription medications. Even so, £16million worth of counterfeit medications were
part of a global operation led by Interpol that resulted in items worth £51.6million being impounded in 115 countries. In Britain, officers also closed down 1,380 websites.
Of course, in the US and England instead of counterfeit medications, we have fake medicines. England is full of homeopathic medications. The US has its supplements. These supplements, of course,
have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (and are) not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
And there is acupuncture and reiki and moxibustion and chiropractic and applied kinesiology and on and on and on. Fake medicines costing billions of dollars. Not worth billions of dollars, mind you. Cost and worth are not the same.
Fake medicines do less harm than counterfeit medicines in terms of absolute numbers, because most people do not use fake medicines thinking they are using the real deal.
Counterfeit or fake, they are the same: they do nothing but cost the patient time, money, hope, health and even life.