TPG - Counterfeit Drug
Battle against Drug Counterfeiting Continues for 2016
The world has witnessed brutal battles against drug counterfeiting last year. Different government sectors, non-profit organizations, pharmaceutical companies, private entities and even individual civilians have put up a lot of effort in taking down fraud online pharmacies conduct raid operations on possible manufacturers and haul drug shipments to and from unsecured territories. Accomplishments include seizure of hundreds of fake medicines in Menteng, Jakarta, Indonesia; haul of £16M worth of fake and unlicensed medicines across the United Kingdom; arrest of 156 individuals worldwide in Operation Pangaea headed by Interpol; and closure of a South African pharmaceutical company which is reported to have produced 23.4 million fraud Viagra tablets.
Albeit the most active participation the world has seen so far for the cause of fighting against counterfeiting, the battle does not end. As a new year starts, new challenges are ahead. Also, the remnants of 2015’s troubles are still in existence.
One of the unending problems is the ever emerging online pharmacies which do not seem to lose its steam. More than 2,000 sites, which are suspected to prescribe fake medicines, were already taken down for investigation, yet World Health Organization still warns of the dangers of purchasing drugs online.
“As long as there is internet and people are online, scammers will always be there. WHO is still working with search engine companies to be able to come up with security system that can block any illegal advances”, Peter Fowler, WHO spokesperson told The Peterson Group.
Another issue is the unsolved involvement of pharmaceutical companies in distributing counterfeited medicines. Although the information was already disseminated, there are still a number of small and medium pharmacies which continuously dispense counterfeit medicines and are unaware of the possible penetration of counterfeit medicines on their shelves.
New brands of counterfeit drugs are also increasing by the minute. When it was only Viagra and Cialis once, the list now includes Lipitor, for treating high cholesterol, corticosteroids for inflammation, Cytotec, used to treat ulcers and Xanax, an antidepressant. Experts believe that there are other undiscovered brands in the market. Even pharmaceutical companies are astounded on the choice of brands beings copied by counterfeiters. These illegal manufacturers also seem to conduct their own research as most of the existing counterfeit drugs are expensive brands which fraud vendors can sell at a cheap price.
The battle is indeed ranging on and it will take time to eliminate them altogether.