Fight The Fakes

Speak up about fake medicines.

Stories from the Front Line

Each Suspicious Sample Tells a Story…

Mike Dalton, Lilly |

Each Suspicious Sample Tells a Story…
© Lilly, Machine used to make counterfeit tablets – Bogota, Colombia, November 2011

As Advisor on Lilly’s Global Product Protection Technical Team, Mike Dalton oversees technical personnel who conduct authentication testing of samples of suspected counterfeit medicines. The Global Product Protection Technical Team serves as one piece of an integrated network of experts inside and outside of Lilly work as a cohesive unit to stop pharmaceutical counterfeiting.

Each suspected counterfeit medicine tells a story. It can tell you about where counterfeiting originates, where they are distributed around the globe, what patient populations and therapeutic drug classes are targeted, and where these counterfeited products may end up. Suspect samples come from a variety of sources such as proactive internal investigations by Lilly, external investigations by governments and law enforcement agencies, and product complaints reported by consumers and healthcare providers. Regardless of where they come from, every sample that we receive and test has the potential to harm patients.

Counterfeiters will prey on any patient population or disease state where there is money to be made. They will also go through great lengths to make their products look like the authentic packaging and products. The global scope of the counterfeit drug trade has grown from lifestyle drugs such as erectile dysfunction medications, but also to life-saving medications like cancer and diabetes drugs. Unsuspecting patients, in many cases, cannot tell the difference just by looking at these counterfeits. It is only when patients take these counterfeits that they may realize they are not authentic, and by that time – it’s too late. This is why I take my job so seriously.

From time to time, I am called on to testify in a court of law about data and conclusions generated by Lilly experts who authenticate suspected counterfeit samples. During these trials I have a unique opportunity to see the face of the individuals involved with manufacturing and/or distributing these counterfeited products. Though I know there is a lot more work that needs to be done to protect patients from these criminal networks, I feel a great sense of accomplishment when the testimony that I give results in a successful conviction. These convictions demonstrate the commitment that pharmaceutical companies and government agencies are making to protect patients. Each conviction sends a message that this crime against patients will not be tolerated.

At Lilly, the patients who take our medicines are at the heart of everything we do. There are many highly-skilled individuals within our company who have devoted much of their careers to fighting pharmaceutical counterfeiting – people from Quality, Manufacturing, Security, Legal, Corporate Affairs, Patient Safety, Medical, Regulatory Affairs, and many other areas. I am but a small part of Lilly’s overall anti-counterfeiting cross-functional team; however, I do feel a great sense of pride in the work we do that ultimately results in protecting those who trust in the red “Lilly”.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Back to List

#DidYouKnow? Possession of #fakemeds is illegal, not just production or sale

#Fakemeds seized during #Biyela? Antibiotics, painkillers, meds for high blood pressure & diabetes

In 2013, Operation #Biyela seized 550 million doses of illicit medicine in #Africa

In the US only 4% of online pharmacies appear to be in compliance with pharmacy laws & practice standards

In 2013 1.2 million sachets of #fakemeds were seized in Le Havre, France. The biggest seizure in the #EU

#Fakemeds: 32% have no active ingredients, 40% have incorrect ingredients & dose, 8.5% contain dangerous contaminants

India may have as much as 12-25% of their supply contaminated with substandard and #fakemeds

.@UNODC estimates the market value of fake #antimalarials at over US$400mil in west Africa alone

Criminals trafficking #fakemeds make profits 10x more than those trafficking illicit drugs

#fakemeds could be up to 15% of medicines in circulation worldwide

From antibiotics to pain relievers, more than 500 versions of fake #pharmaceutical products are circulating #fakemeds

More than 50% of medicine sold worldwide from illegal online sources are #fakemeds

Of the 1mil deaths per year due to #malaria, 200,000 could be avoided if patients weren't treated with #fakemeds

1 medicine in 2 purchased on internet sites that conceal their physical address is a #fakemed

Decades of fighting #malaria could be put at risk by #fakemeds on the market

Every therapeutic class of pharmaceutical product has been the subject of #counterfeiting

#Fakemeds seized in Le Havre in May 2013 were hidden in sachets of tea

123 countries are impacted by #fakemeds

#Fakemeds can contain no active ingredients at all – a direct threat to patients that need treatment

Up to 30% of medicines in developing countries are #fakemeds

1 out of 4 counterfeit products intercepted by EU customs in 2011 were #fakemeds

NIH 2012 study of 7 countries in southeast Asia reveals that 36% of #antimalarials are #fakemeds

In 2013 US authorities published warning of fake #diabetes meds—ineffective & dangerous for patients

60% of all spam offers medicine- its an inexpensive way for #counterfeiters to target you with #fakemeds.

.@INTERPO_HQ L Operation #PangeaVI seized 9.8 million illegal & counterfeit drugs #fakemeds

Both branded and generic products are subject to counterfeiting

30% of countries have little or no regulation to effectively combat #fakemeds

#DidYouKnow? 96% of online pharmacies operate illegally

#fakemeds are 10% to 30% of global medicine: less than 1% in some countries, +30% in parts of Africa Asia & Latin America

On internet sites that conceal their physical address 50% of the drugs are #fakemeds

700,000 people die because of #fakemeds to treat #malaria & #TB each year

2011: European Customs retained 27.5 million #fakemeds

Up to 40% of the drug supply of some countries in Africa could be #fakemeds

Poisons found in #fakemeds include mercury, rat poison, boric acid, paint & antifreeze

20% of all #malaria deaths worldwide can be directly associated with the use of #fakemeds

36% of #anti-malarial drugs in #SoutheastAsia are #fakemeds