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text 2015-12-19 07:27
Health Issues Worsening Because of Counterfeit Prescriptions
Counterfeit prescription pharmaceuticals are widely recognized as a growing public health risk and a serious concern to public health officials, private companies, and consumers. According to studies, almost 70% in a developing countries order their medicines through online pharmacies with available doctors who can give immediate prescription basing their findings on the symptoms given through the patient’s comments.

World Health Organization (WHO) has released warnings on the effects of the prescribed drugs on a patient’s health. In review of the records, these counterfeit prescriptions resulting to the purchase of medicines which are at most times unfit for the person’s ailment have already caused death to thousands of lives in some of the world’s most impoverished countries.

In an interview with Mark Wang, spokesperson of The Peterson Group, non-profit organization campaigning against the proliferation of counterfeit medicines, he stated that authorities should not only focus on counterfeit medicines bearing little or no active ingredient in curing a specific ailment. He emphasized, “We should also be vigilant of prescriptions issued online. It may be that the drugs prescribed are legit and can be bought from legitimate sources but it may not be the right medicine for that patient’s disease”.

Indeed, a lot of buy-bust operations are done with fraudulent manufacture of counterfeit drugs but there is not much news about illegal prescriptions online.

Wang also added, “It may also be possible that the ‘doctor’ prescribing these medicines is not a real physician at all”.

In most developed countries, only less than 1% is reported to be victimized by prescription counterfeiting because of tight security measures among internet usage and market controls as well as the regulations imposed on physicians which the public is aware of. Even so, patients in developed countries are not exempted and can be affected by counterfeit drugs and deaths linked to them. These deaths are increasing in number annually in the United States, United Kingdom and even more so in Africa, Asia and South America where the laws on online trade are still vague.

In Asia, Jakarta, Indonesia and Beijing, China are pointed as the main source of counterfeit prescriptions. India is also included in the list with a lot of Indian online pharmacy closed down after found to prescribe illegally through website comments.

Counterfeit drugs are, by definition, not subject to the same regulatory scrutiny as legitimate medications. The drugs often have incorrect amounts of active ingredients, if those ingredients are present at all, and are illegal in developed countries.
Source: giulcosta.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/health-issues-worsening-because-of-counterfeit-prescriptions
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