It is estimated that 15 billion messages are identified every day in Europe, identified as advertising spam. Most of us treat him with disdain and, even without reading, they are sent to the "basket". However, not everyone does this. The whole world every year more and more filled with counterfeit medicines. The main reason why people use the services of questionable sellers is a low price. The second is convenience. After all, this way you can buy any medicine without going to the doctor and prescriptions. It is estimated that only last year the income from the sale of such counterfeit medicines reached 75 billion dollars! This is 92% more than in 2005. The World Health Organization lost 100 million dollars on counterfeit drugs. The money received by unscrupulous sellers from counterfeit medicines is simply huge. But the costs associated with counterfeiting, on the contrary, are very low. After all, their production process does not meet any quality and safety standards.
Although this problem has been known for a long time, only the last two or three years, appropriate directives have been developed to combat this practice. WHO also formed a definition of counterfeit medicines. It is: "Counterfeit medicines that deliberately mislead the buyer with incorrect signatures in terms of composition and / or source. This medication may contain inappropriate active ingredients (or not contain prescribed), have an incorrect amount of active substance, a significant amount of impurities, and also have a fake container. "
The whole world buys online
Counterfeit medicines are exported mainly from Asian countries: China, India and the Philippines. But there are supplies from Egypt and the countries of Western and Southern Africa. There is a real paradise for drug scammers - there is no regulation by the state, the poverty of the population, the demand for drugs is huge. Thus, medicines are most often forged in the fight against HIV / AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. It is estimated that one of the three drugs sold in Africa is counterfeit.
Falsification of drugs in poor countries seems obvious, but do you think things are better in Europe? Unfortunately no. The European Union has a more radical legal basis, but the Internet has become the starting point for counterfeiters. Reports show that currently 90% of medicines purchased through the Internet are fake. Neither the doctors nor the patients are aware of the risks and scope of this phenomenon.
The most frequently forged medicines are drugs for erectile dysfunction (impotence), overweight, anabolic steroids, anti-cancer drugs, antibiotics, drugs for hypertension and for reducing cholesterol, analgesics, food supplements and drugs used in psychiatry.
What is the danger of counterfeit medicines?
The most harmless, than reception of counterfeit medicinal product can threaten to you is a full absence of effect. However, this is relatively harmless. After all, the patient does not immediately notice that the drug does not work. And time goes, sometimes it can cost a person's life. It is not uncommon for cases when the lost time caused the development of the disease and its transition to an irreversible stage. But the person could be helped.
But still much worse, when the composition of counterfeit drugs appear substances that are a blatant poison. What can include counterfeit medicines? Here is a list of substances detected periodically in counterfeit drugs:
- Boric acid
- Brick dust
- Cretaceous dust
- Pigment containing lead
- Shoe polish
- Liquid for polishing furniture.
In connection with the use of counterfeit medicines, according to WHO estimates, about 200 thousand people die per year!
Is it legal?
Surprisingly, the sale of drugs via the Internet in many countries, including Russia, is legal. True, there is a reservation - it's only with regard to funds sold without a doctor's prescription. Everyone can bring into the country for their own use five packs of medicinal product, provided, however, it does not contain narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances. The drugs so imported can not be sold.
Unfortunately, in our country there is no corresponding pharmaceutical legislation, which eventually would solve the problem of counterfeit medicines. There is not even a definite term for counterfeit medicines. Since 2008, the Chief Pharmaceutical Inspectorate and the Ministry of Health have been continuously working on such a law. But it is still not adopted.
Corresponding actions are conducted in the world. Interpol recently posted four films on the Internet under the slogan "Do not kill yourself!"
Where else are the counterfeit medicines sold?
Another place where counterfeit drugs trade is thriving are commercial pharmacies. As a rule, the main victims are elderly people who buy cheaper painkillers and heartaches. Fake steroids can be bought in some gyms or fitness clubs, counterfeit means to increase potency - in sex shops.
How can you recognize a fake?
Suppose you bought a medicine from an unreliable source. What should alarm you:
- Too weak effect or lack thereof. Never increase the dose in this case! A quality medicine will work in the doses described in the instructions.
- If it seems to you that the drug works differently than it should. You feel bad after it (for example, painkiller lowers blood pressure, but does not eliminate pain).
- After taking the drug, you felt bad. For example, there was dizziness, nausea, abdominal pain, vision problems.
In each of these cases, it is necessary to stop taking the drug and consult a doctor. When you feel very bad - do not wait! It is better to go to the hospital right away. Do not pretend that you do not know what the consequences may be. It's just a delay of help.
Note: Remember that if you buy a medicine that must be prescribed by prescription, without a prescription - it can be dangerous. The doctor after the examination determines the dosage of medicines. Never do it yourself!
There are online pharmacies, which are tested and recommended by doctors. They are listed on the websites of provincial pharmaceutical inspections.
Which pharmacy should not buy medicines? Where funds are offered without a prescription (although it is required), prices are much lower than in other pharmacies, there are no usual cheap domestic medicines. Legal pharmacies usually do not use such methods.
If you suspect that the medical product you bought is counterfeit, report it to the police or prosecutor's office.