The Dangers of Counterfeit Drugs

by Steele Bradshaw

 For every American death caused by a lethal, addictive narcotic; there are even more attributed to dangerous therapeutic medicines. As the distribution channels for pharmaceuticals increases, the chance of a rogue distributor increases. Not only that, some manufacturers are contributing to the proliferation of dangerous drugs. Aside from counterfeits, dangers are rising around pharmaceutical manufacturers focused on cutting costs at the expense of quality and safety. The combination of the dangers involving slacking pharmaceutical manufacturers and downright criminal counterfeiting has produced an abundance of circulating therapeutic drugs. The drugs, counter to common perception, are not solely sold online. In addition, you can find them at your local pharmacy. The supply chain of pharmaceuticals is extremely complicated and has a large margin of error.

The  counterfeit drug issue has increased over the last decade and has been said to hold a 10% share in pharmaceuticals globally. In other words, one in ten pills taken are, statistically counterfeit. Even worse, for anti-malarial drugs, it is estimated that one third are counterfeit. This counterfeit business has been at the expense of thousands of lives worldwide, specifically Africa. Fortunately, in the United States, less than 1% of the 4 billion annually filled drugs are counterfeit. That still accounts for a large amount of fake and potentially dangerous drugs. With the proliferation of rogue sites and online pharmacies selling counterfeit or dangerous drugs, it may seem impossible to completely trust your prescription drugs. Well, that should not be the case. Although there are very few, trusted online pharmacies such as are extremely reliable and are a safe way to avoid the counterfeit dilemma. Moreover, the more directly you can buy from trusted manufacturers, the more confident you can be about the quality of your pharmaceuticals. The current paradigm that exists involves pharmaceuticals traveling from the manufacturer to the wholesaler, then to the pharmacy. Through all of those steps, it difficult to know exactly where your drugs originate. That is why, if you can purchase exclusively from the manufacturers through trusted online sites or secure pharmacy chains.

Fake pills, whether counterfeit or poorly manufactured, contain chalk, talcum powder, road paint and sometimes heavy metal. Estimates of annual deaths caused by fake drugs have ranged from 100,000 to as high as 700,000 deaths. This has been a low-risk, high profit business for criminal organizations. These criminal organizations are based all around the world. Specifically, known organizations either exist or have existed in Canada, Damascus, China, India, and even exist in the form of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah. The danger of counterfeit and poorly produced drugs is certainly something to be cautious of. It is never a good idea to risk the quality of drugs in favor of cost. When it comes to purchasing pharmaceuticals, be cautious and be safe.