Counterfeit Medicines are rampant in today’s society. The most vicious victims are mostly coming from developing and less developed countries which cannot afford expensive medicines and have been patronizing generic brands. These brands are mostly sold in small pharmacy counters which are often not licensed and are not allowed to operate by the local government.
Counterfeit medicines ranging from Viagra pills to counterfeit medicines for Syphilis, AIDS and even Cancer are dominant in some suburb parts of Jakarta, Indonesia, Vietnam, Shanghai and Beijing, China. They may have been either operating under extreme caution or are protected by corrupt officials which are not unusual in these developing nations.
The impact of the widespread of counterfeited medicines has reached different authorities as it climbs an alarming state of deaths, worsening disease symptoms and the culture of new ailments. Even World Health Organization (WHO) has started giving out warnings to consumers.
Yet, the countries involved may have outdated data or are not doing their survey at all. Many reports submitted to WHO reflects inaccuracy of data, some only generalizes the extent of the problem, thus only providing an unclear surface. Getting data from these countries is like walking on murky water trying to count the pebbles underneath.
WHO depended on local NGOs to provide a more concrete structure of the extremities of the issue. The Peterson Group, a non-profit organization campaigning against any utilization of counterfeit medicines has taken charge in South East Asian Nations’ use of counterfeit medicines and its effects to its citizens. Considering the vast scale of counterfeit medicines being imported and exported in the region, it is pretty challenging to wipe out fraudsters in one blow.
The impact has been immeasurably massive varying according to the following:
• Increased mortality and morbidity
• Engendering of drug resistance and loss of medicine efficacy
• Loss of confidence in health systems and health workers
• Economic loss for patients, their families, health systems, and the producers and traders in good-quality medicines
• Adverse effects from incorrect active ingredients
• Waste of enormous human effort and financial outlay in development of medicines, optimizing dosage, carrying out clinical trials, discussing policy change, and manufacturing medicines
• Increased burden for health workers, medicine regulatory authorities (MRAs), customs officials and police officers
WHO had proposed a lot of temporary solutions that may drive fraudsters away, if only private pharmaceutical companies would extend their assistance. The necessary action to combat counterfeiting should be straightforward because criminal deception would not be involved. These fraudsters are smart and canny. It does no threat to them if we device a scam.