Tags: Fake | Drugs | Your | Local | Pharmacy?

Fake Drugs in Your Local Pharmacy?

Wednesday, 08 December 2004 12:00 AM

Awareness of this fact can help keep us from getting stuck with counterfeit drugs if we should happen to purchase them.

For example, in April this year, Rick Roberts, a lecturer in Communication Studies at the University of San Francisco, described his personal experience with fake drugs to an audience of 200 at a Washington Policy Center conference.

Roberts told the group that he was diagnosed with “AIDS wasting syndrome" and was responding well to treatment with recombinant human growth hormone (HGH). Digestive juices destroy this hormone if taken as a pill, so he had to inject himself with the medicine.

One time, when he had his prescription refilled by a San Francisco drugstore, he noticed a new, stinging sensation where he injected the medicine. On questioning, his pharmacist helped him find out that he had received some of the “recalled fake stuff.” Roberts was actually injecting a totally different and incorrect medicine.

Roberts received another counterfeit drug subsequently. This time the counterfeit drug was a form of the medicine prescribed, but was only one-sixth the strength needed.

In both cases, the fake drug package was an amazingly accurate facsimile of the real thing.

Because of these experiences Roberts became an observant medical consumer. He noticed when his prescription drug wasn’t behaving as expected, and questioned what was going on.

The Medicine Men always encourage patients to be proactive rather than complacent about their medical conditions and treatment. Part of that awareness is being alert to the possibility of purchasing counterfeit drugs - even in familiar locations.

What constitutes a counterfeit drug?

Some drugs technically labeled "counterfeit" by the FDA are not dangerous for consumers. These drugs contain authentic ingredients in correct strengths but are not controlled by the FDA.

They may have been manufactured, licensed and regulated in Europe. Or, they may have originally been manufactured in the U.S. and then exported, causing them to be “lost to the oversight of the FDA.” In either case, being outside of the FDA chain-of-command renders them “legally counterfeit.”

This type of counterfeit drug is not a big concern for consumers over the short term, since quality is not the problem. However, they are longer-term problems for consumers because of their impact on medical research and development.

Dr. Marsteller describes two other types of counterfeit drugs that immediately affect the consumer.

To reduce the risk of being harmed by this problem, Dr. Marsteller recommends buying prescription drugs from U.S. state-licensed pharmacies, where you and your doctor can follow up if necessary. He suggests being alert for changes in packaging, labeling, color, taste or shape of a pill. And to watch for unanticipated side effects.

If you suspect you've obtained a counterfeit drug, contact the pharmacist that dispensed the drug and also check with your doctor.

As always, "Buyer Be Aware." Vigilance is important when buying pharmaceuticals - whether it's over the Internet or in the local drugstore.

Related article: https://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/11/11/85143.shtml

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Awareness of this fact can help keep us from getting stuck with counterfeit drugs if we should happen to purchase them. For example, in April this year, Rick Roberts, a lecturer in Communication Studies at the University of San Francisco, described his personal experience...
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2004-00-08
Wednesday, 08 December 2004 12:00 AM
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