Don’t Buy Fake Drugs Online, Urges the Men’s Health Network
The usual suspects did not lead the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency’s list of top counterfeit products last year—not designer bags, not athletic shoes, not iPhones and other i-stuff. Instead, the list was topped by counterfeit pharmaceuticals.
Counterfeit medicines are more common today than ever before. We have documented their rise and the associated safety concerns. USA Today reports that the CBP seized 200% more counterfeit pharmaceuticals in 2011 than they did in 2002. In the same article, Therese Randazzo, CBP’s intellectual property rights director, warns, “There’s demand, and it’s gotten easier and easier to copy [pharmaceutical products] and to sell them over the Internet.”
In February, the FDA announced that 89 U.S. doctor's offices in 15 states purchased medication from a distributor known to have counterfeits, and on May 29, that counterfeit Adderall purchased over the Internet contained the pain medications tramadol and acetaminophen instead of the therapeutic ingredients used to increase concentration in those with ADHD and narcolepsy.
The Men’s Health Network and the Partnership for Safe Medicines put together what we think is a smart and highly informative infographic to show men and the women who love them where the dangers lie. It details the various types of counterfeit drugs and warns how to avoid them by using a reputable pharmacist certified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. The infographic was prepared as part of a campaign for National Men’s Health Week (June 11-17) as well as World Anti-Counterfeiting Day (June 7th).
Although the issue of counterfeit drugs has long been treated as a criminal matter of intellectual property infringement, it also nothing short of a public health crisis. Counterfeit and substandard pharmaceuticals are not just duping consumers—they are taking lives.