Counterfeit Drugs Are Not Easy To Spot
Most of us have some type of prescription medicine in our cabinet. It may be something simple to relieve a temporary difficulty, or medication to help us through a long term problem. In either instance, we are depending on that drug.
In February the FDA found counterfeit Avastin, an injectable cancer treatment, had been distributed to 19 cancer treatment centers in the United States. The centers all purchased drugs that were in short supply from online distributors here in the United States that were buying from foreign suppliers. Unfortunately, those receiving this counterfeit drug got none of the key ingredients they needed. We will never know how negatively this affected the recipients of the fake drug.
While we are all aware that counterfeit purses, music Cd’s and even jewelry is being brought into our country, did you know that counterfeit drugs can be 100 times as profitable? Especially if there is a shortage of a particular life-saving drug.
In May, a man right here in Palm Beach was convicted of re-labeling and packaging Chinese test kits for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. The kits contained nothing to prove or disprove the diseases. Naturally they also had no FDA approval as his web site claimed. How many people were affected by his greed?
In May again, the FDA found counterfeit Adderall 30 milligram tablets. Adderall is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy (sleep disorder). The pills contained large amounts of pain medication, but naturally no ingredients for the intended purpose. You don’t need to be a medical professional to realize the tragic consequences that can result from the wrong medication. The Adderall situation is is so recent I will simply copy an excerpt from the FDA press release for you:
“The FDA’s preliminary laboratory tests revealed that the counterfeit version of Teva’s Adderall 30 mg tablets contained the wrong active ingredients. Adderall contains four active ingredients – dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and amphetamine sulfate. Instead of these active ingredients, the counterfeit product contained tramadol and acetaminophen, which are ingredients in medicines used to treat acute pain.
Currently on the FDA’s drug shortage list, Adderall is in short supply due to active pharmaceutical ingredient supply issues. Teva continues to release product as it becomes available. Consumers should be extra cautious when buying their medicines from online sources. Rogue websites and distributors may especially target medicines in short supply for counterfeiting”.
Here’s the bottom line. We all need to be acutely aware that buying drugs from online sources is not safe. Even my vet has a warning in his office about buying pet medication over the internet.
On the positive side, as far as I know, no prescription drug has surfaced in conventional sources, such as a licensed and trusted pharmacy.
The counterfeits are coming from online, out of state, or mail order sources. Stay away from these operations. You may save money, but what problems are you buying in exchange?
Let me know your thoughts. Leave a comment below.