Many might be thinking of fake medicines and drug-adulterated dietary supplements as something rather un-European, far away from the western world. On the contrary, much of their mass production takes place, indeed, in the developing parts of the globe. But that is nothing but a disguise, as they are all meant to wind up in all parts of the world, wherever there’s enough money to turn this low-risk crime into sky-high profit.
My first close encounter with this emerging public health threat happened during the time I had been writing my dissertation at the Medical University of Warsaw. Little did I know at that time of how widespread this phenomenon was. By virtue of an anonymized survey, I found out about several cases of (probably) fake ED drugs and athletic enhancement drugs/supplements used among my closest circle of friends and acquaintances, who purchased them over the internet. This was enough to trigger my very own, private crusade.
As the designer and main coordinator of public health campaign in Poland, ‘Know Your Meds’ I decided to address this pressing issue. As a result, we started educating Polish patients not only about the rational use of true medicines, but also the irrational use of the fake ones. In fact, ‘fighting the fakes’ has later on become one of the cornerstones of our initiative, equally important as other recurrent topics we address.
This is why I did not hesitate long to contact ‘Fight the Fakes’ as soon as I discovered we share a common goal – raising awareness and preventing fake medicines from harming patients.
Our first step was to translate into Polish a brilliant, highly informative yet comprehensive, educational movie ‘Beware of False Friends’, that Fight the Fakes has published in the internet. We put this vide on our own website, but also in the urban TV info-screens in public transportation vehicles. We plan to put it more places, so that the message reaches the broad public.
Fighting the fakes will not be an easy fight, but Know Your Meds is committed to making a difference, of that you have my word.
Philipp Rozewski, MPharm