The FDA and Pfizer hit out at the global counterfeit drugs trade

The Foods and Drugs Administration (FDA) spoke out yesterday about the global crisis on counterfeit medicines finding their way into drug stores and how the internet plays its role in the problem. They were speaking at a health forum in Manila, Philippines, which included representatives from Pfizer present. According to the FDA, China is now one of the biggest sources of counterfeit drugs, followed by Jordan, the U.S., Israel and Canada. Back in 2005 a FDA study estimated that sales of counterfeit drugs were generating over $3.5 billion per year.

Scott Davis, Pfizer’s security expert for Asia, said on Thursday, “The internet has led to an explosion of availability of these products. About 90% of counterfeit drugs are at some point marketed and sold on the internet.” He also highlighted several points that Medical Specialists Pharmacy have touched upon previously, mentioning that if you spot a website selling pills for erectile dysfunction and the website does not have a physical address for its business, this would be an automatic suspicious sign that the seller is not a genuine pharmacy.

Davis added, “They are getting more sophisticated. We often have to send the pills to our labs to tell us the difference.” Pfizer’s Viagra and Eli Lilly’s Cialis are two of the most commonly duplicated medicines. However, many men who purchase the cheap counterfeits or ‘generic’ versions of the erectile dysfunction medication are often unaware of the risks that they can pose.  A particular batch of fake Viagra tablets was seized in Dubai a few years ago and were deemed ‘potentially deadly’ by customs officials. Experts had discovered that each pill contained a massive 130mg of sildenafil citrate (the active ingredient in Viagra); this is 30% more than the maximum recommended dose of genuine Viagra tablets. Ingesting a high dose like that could cause fatally low blood pressure or even a heart attack.

However, counterfeiters do not merely just copy impotence drugs according to Davis. He continued, “But now it’s not just Viagra or lifestyle drugs but other medicines like malarials. These criminals will copy anything to make a buck.” At Medical Specialists Pharmacy we offer a safe and secure service and only provide genuine branded medication for our patients.  We are strongly against the continuing increase in illegal websites on the internet that claim to be a ‘pharmacy’, all of which will not have a NPA and green cross pharmacy logo on their website, an obvious sign of their fraudulence.

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