When Fakes Attack!
Counterfeit medicines are on the rise. Regulators are driving serialization and tamper-evident packaging initiatives, but is the pharma industry fully primed to defend against fraud and push back the forgeries?
Perhaps 10 or 15 years ago, counterfeit medicines were mainly limited to lifestyle drugs, such as Viagra, which people purchased from rather dubious sources on the Internet without a prescription. (No doubt some of you will be thinking, “you get what you deserve (or pay for),” and I think most people actually do understand that prescription medicines should be obtained through legitimate channels and prescribed under the supervision of a doctor.) Sadly today, counterfeit medicines can be found anywhere – including the legitimate supply chain. All classes of drugs – at all price levels – can be affected; we even see counterfeits of extremely cheap drugs that only cost $1 to begin with... The bottom line is that wherever there is any profit to be made, counterfeiters are waiting. It’s no longer a problem that only plagues Internet sales and people who should perhaps know better. In general, most of us don’t choose where we get our prescription drugs from; rather there is an element of assumption that the medicines we receive from our pharmacies and healthcare professionals will be authentic.
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