Yesterday’s issue of the newspaper Metro (front page and page 2) discusses the problems with counterfeit medicines (in Swedish: ”Förfalskade läkemedel”) and internet pharmacies (in Swedish: ”Internetapotek”). It is a huge problem and the money involved are estimated to exceed the amount from the narcotics business for criminal gangs! And it is really not surprising since the risks involved for the criminals are fairly low when dealing with counterfiet pharmaceuticals compared to e.g. narcotics.
The establishing of a large number of easily accessible internet pharmacies, very often believed to be real authorized pharmacies by the public, has increased the business very rapidly.
Is is an important part of the credibility of the pharmaceutical industry, and for pharmaceuticals as such and good value of medical treatments, that these counterfeited medicines are found and destroyed. In many cases, the best thing you could hope for is that the counterfeit medicines do not have any effect what so ever. In many cases however, they are very toxic… The could for instance consist of lead and paint. Definitely not healthy! And it will definitely not cure your diseases…
A pretty horrifying story isn’t it? Pfizer collaborates with e.g. MPA and other authorities and police and customs around the world to fight counterfeiting. Read more via this link.