via The Partnership For Safe Medicines
Top 10 ways for parents to protect their kids from counterfeit drugs
More than one-quarter of all U.S. children take medicine on a regular basis, many who depend on prescription medication for life and health. At the same time, many experts are concerned that the growing number of fake internet pharmacies provides a global distribution channel for fake or tainted medicines, making it much easier for criminal drug rings to sell their ineffective and harmful products to unsuspecting American parents. An infographic from the Partnership for Safe Medicines representing the startling facts behind the problem can be found by clicking here. PSM also has recommendations for how parents can help protect their children from these potentially dangerous products.
PS, a nonprofit, recently released a new report detailing the growing epidemic: counterfeit, fake and tainted medicines. Read the report by clicking here.
The prevalence of these fraudulent “online pharmacies” and counterfeit medicine sales have real consequence:
· Tragedy struck Nigeria in 2009 when 84 children between two months and seven-years-old died after taking a teething medicine that had its sweetening agent replaced by counterfeiters with a cheaper but deadly chemical commonly found in antifreeze and brake fluid.
· Counterfeiting medicine is reported to be a $75 billion a year industry. In fact, there has been a 700 percent increase in drug counterfeiting from 2002 to 2009 and more than 800 unique medicines counterfeited worldwide in 2009 alone. In 2002, there were only 250.
· Citizens in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom were exposed to counterfeit flu medicine in 2006, while British officials impounded 5,000 packets of the fake drug the same year
Currently, the United States has a closed system that has been effective in largely preventing counterfeiters from injecting their potential lethal medicine into our medicine supply. In fact, today in the U.S. only 1% of medicines are presumed to be potentially counterfeit. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization estimates as much as 40% of medicines in some developing countries might be fake. Importation legislation could unintentionally compromise America’s safeguarded, tightly regulated medicine supply chain.