People, unfortunately, often get sick, so they have to take medicine. However, it happens that the drug does not help, although earlier, when receiving the same medication, the treatment effect occurred. Alternatively, having bought a cure, we notice that the color of the tablets is a dirty gray, there is no whiteness and gloss that the same drug had before. Alternatively, freeing the pill from the packaging, we see that it has lost its shape: it is cracked or crumbled. All these changes with the drug are not hallucinations, but reality.
Counterfeits in terms of quality and effectiveness are not equivalent to the original drugs, because under the guise of one medicine there may be another, or there are no pharmacologically active ingredients in their composition. Counterfeit drugs are also recognized because they are produced illegally, without the knowledge and permission of the copyright holder, and do not pass the control provided for legal products.
Analysis of practitioners shows that in a number of cases, doctors are not well informed about the problem of falsification of drugs, therefore episodes of insufficient therapeutic effect when using known drugs, manifestations of atypical side effects, increasing the frequency of allergic reactions, they are usually associated with the wrong selection of the drug or dosage. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of doctors and patients do not assume that the falsified medication may be to blame for all this.
In the consumer market in America, the number of counterfeit goods, including drugs, is growing every year. The share of fakes in total sales of consumer goods reached 35%.
According to experts, the volume of fakes of some product groups in 2017 amounted to:
• medicines – 10-12%,
• food products – 25%,
• alcohol products – 30%,
• shoes and clothes – 40%,
• cosmetic and synthetic detergents – 55%.
Counterfeit drugs, unlike fakes of other product groups, pose the greatest threat to the health and life of not only an individual consumer or group of consumers, but also the health of the nation as a whole, and therefore are one of the most severe problems in almost all countries of the world.
A drug that does not contain medicines, in one word “dummy.” In the composition of such medications may be chalk, starch, flour, sugar and so on. These fake drugs are safe and do not pose any threat to your health, but this is only if they are taken, for example, from a toothache. But, if you treat these diseases with serious diseases, they can even kill a person. For example, if at the time of heart failure to take a drug that is made of chalk, the outcome can be fatal, because this medicine has no therapeutic effect.
The amount of active substances that the medicine contains is significantly reduced. On this basis, the dosage of the drug becomes several times weaker than in the original medication. It turns out that it is necessary to take a more significant number of pills to achieve the effect. Such drugs can also be harmful because doctors cannot determine the cause of the deteriorating patient’s health.
The drug, which is an exact copy of the original, but the technology of its production is not respected. This may affect the quality of the medication. So, for example, the shelf life of such a drug may not be five years, but one month. Therefore, at the time you buy this medicine, the expiration date may be overdue. The consequences of the use of this drug are clear to everyone.
RECOMMENDATIONS HOW NOT TO BUY FALSE MEDICINE
• Buy drugs only in large pharmacies. The procurement of medicines in such pharmacies occurs at large proven suppliers who value their reputation. In small pharmacies, as a rule, the head of the pharmacy make purchases, and who has the right to choose suppliers independently.
• Do not buy drugs in small pharmacies, stalls, mobile, and other pharmacy kiosks.
• Do not purchase medicine that your attending physician did not prescribe.
• Ask the pharmacy employee for a certificate of the drug, check the series and the date of manufacture on the pill and document.
• Check the purchased medicine from the reference books of drugs, since the dose you bought may be unregistered as a medicine.
• Do not rush and run to the pharmacy for the purchase of advertised products, as they are fake most often.
How to distinguish counterfeit (fake) medicine from the original?
1. For counterfeit drugs, the price is substantially lower than the original.
2. The packaging of innovative medicine is of high quality, even, with bright saturated colors.
3. Scanned instructions are a sign of counterfeit medicine.
4. The instructions fit into the packaging to divide blisters, vials, etc. in half.
5. Date of issue, expiration date, batch should be the same and be the same on the package, blister, bottle, and certificate.
6. Buy drugs, not for the whole course of treatment, but as the medicine is consumed.
7. Look in the directory of medications before buying a drug that your doctor has not prescribed you.
8. Do not settle for the replacement of analog, if the pharmacy does not have the necessary medication. Many employees of pharmacies offer an alternative for analogs, as a rule, with a lower price.
When counterfeiting medicines, as well as any other product (food, shoes, clothes, cigarettes, audio-video products, etc.), offenders, first of all, strive to give them and their packaging the appearance of the original product, without focusing on their quality and composition. For example, making counterfeit medicine in the form of tablets, forgers tend to accurately reproduce the shape, color, and weight of the original pill.
As a rule, the primary and secondary packaging of counterfeit medicine, as well as the medication itself, is made in the form of an exact copy of the original, however, forgers do not always manage to find identical material: cardboard, foil, paint and other materials for the manufacture of packaging, which distinguishes it from the original. Thanks to this, fake can be visually recognized from the original drug in appearance.
For example, counterfeit drug “Suprastin,” produced in the form of tablets, differ from the following original features:
• “Suprastin” engraving on a fake tablet, unlike the original one, is clearer and deeper, not rounded;
• tablet height 3.18 mm, not 2.82 mm;
• on the blister (primary packaging) the indication of the dosage “mg” is printed in bold, on the original – the usual font;
• the name of the manufacturer “EGIS,” indicated on the front side of the blister (primary packaging), was printed on the reverse side in the form of an imprint; there is no imprint on the original;
In recent years, several falsifying spelling errors have been identified that are contained in words in the text of the instruction. Analysis showed that, compared with other groups of goods that are being counterfeited and falsified, the identification and registration of counterfeit drugs are most organized, this process is centralized and streamlined.
One of the elements of this process has been the maintenance since 1999 of an updated registry (list) of falsified and rejected drugs and their series continuously, with the indication of signs distinguishing them from high-quality medicines. It was noted that the measures taken by the state to combat the falsification of medicines are insufficient. In this regard, citizens need to take all possible steps to protect themselves from counterfeit drugs. When buying medicines, as well as when buying other goods and food, you need to inspect the packaging and pharmaceutical. And most importantly, do not take a fake instead of this medicine. So you will not only help yourself but also save many of your countrymen from low-quality medicine. It was at the initiative of consumers, according to their complaints that more than 20% of low-quality and about 10% of counterfeit drugs were detected and withdrawn from circulation.
For example, one of the counterfeit medicines was revealed due to the care of a pensioner who has been taking the same medication for several years. She drew attention to the fact that on the packaging of the drug she received, the expiration date was different than on the packaging of the same medicine obtained earlier, while the batch number was the same on both packages. Such a difference caused the woman to reasonably suspect the authenticity of the drug.
In conclusion, an essential detail is the bar code. The authenticity of the drugs can be checked on it as well. Dampen a little finger in water, then rub it with a system. If the paint is smeared – the preparation is an obvious fake. There are also a lot of programs that can be installed for free on your phone. You can quickly identify a fake with their help.