Fight The Fakes

Speak up about fake medicines.

Stories from the Front Line

Why we can’t take the safety of medicines for granted

Kari Leung |

Why we can’t take the safety of medicines for granted

I support the fight against fake medicines because I believe people should be able to take medicines without worrying about their safety. Fake medicines undermine confidence in healthcare systems around the world and give patients a false sense of hope and security.

I grew up in Hong Kong where counterfeit medicines were not a prevalent problem. But across the border in China, it was a completely different story. News reports about falsified medicines and unsafe health products were common and I felt privileged knowing that I didn’t have to worry too much about this issue in Hong Kong. Looking back, I realised that I took the safety of medicines for granted and that I had never even stopped to consider the possibility that the medicines I was taking were not legitimate. However, the reality is that counterfeit medicines are a serious problem around the world that must be addressed

As a future pharmacist, I work in the best interest of my patients and I would like the guarantee that the medicines I give to my patients are genuine, safe, and efficacious. Now is the time to bring counterfeit medicines to the top of the global health agenda in order to raise awareness amongst healthcare professionals as well as members of the public in order to combat this pressing problem.

The student body of UCL School of Pharmacy is looking forward to working alongside Fight the Fakes as well as with the many other partners involved in the campaign to combat the pressing problem of fake medicines.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Back to List

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

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

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

2011: European Customs retained 27.5 million #fakemeds

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

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

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

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

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

Both branded and generic products are subject to counterfeiting

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

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

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

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

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

#DidYouKnow? 96% of online pharmacies operate illegally

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

123 countries are impacted by #fakemeds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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