Counterfeit Pills: The European Threat

By August 22, 2007Health Care, Technology, Trade

Such interesting stories in the European press that we missed here. For example, in Die Welt, a national German newspaper. One tenth of pharmaceutical drugs in European pharmacies is fake? Wow.

EU wants to stop fake pills
One out of every 10 pills in Europe’s pharmacies is a counterfeit. When it comes to on-line offers, at least half of the medicines are fake. In the best of cases, the dubious copies have no effect. But they can also have side effects, which aren’t mentioned on the instructions.

The results can be deadly for patients if contents don’t match the packaging: Counterfeit drugs are extremely dangerous. Above all, experts warn, the Internet is increasingly becoming an exchange route for contaminated medicines. The EU is describing the developments as “especially dramatic: In 2006, 2.5 million counterfeit drugs were seized, compared to 500,000 the previous year. For this reason, the EU authorities are seeking to become more active and erect new barriers against the import of illegal pharmaceuticals.

Meanwhile, here in the states

Washington — Congress passed two spending bills just before its August recess that would expand Americans’ access to imported prescription drugs. Both measures, however, still need the other chamber’s approval.

Well, as long as they’re not Chinese prescription drugs, they’re safe, right?

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