Need For Smarter Ways To Identify Fake Drugs & Internet Counterfeiting: WHO

by Medindia Content Team on  February 22, 2006 at 5:36 PM Drug News   - G J E 4
Need For Smarter Ways To Identify Fake Drugs & Internet Counterfeiting: WHO
The WHO has warned that it is high time for the medicine industry to embrace product-tracking technologies such as radio frequency identification tags that would help identify fake medicines.

Alarmingly, such substandard counterfeit medicines that are deliberately mislabeled to cheat customers have been found to contain even poisonous substances, unfit for human use. These medicines yield enormous profit and have remained the target of crime gangs. It is predicted that the sale of inappropriate medicines would reach as high as $US75 billion by the end of 2010, approximating to a 92% increase since 2005.

'People don't die from carrying a fake handbag or wearing a fake T-shirt. They can die from taking a counterfeit medicine. International police action against the factories and distribution networks should be as uncompromising as that applied in the pursuit of narcotics smuggling,' warned Howard Zucker, WHO technology spokesman.

Instances of death of children following consumption of counterfeit medicines with poisonous substances and reports of unwanted pregnancy from use of birth control pills made out of flour has demanded the establishment of International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT).

Criminals are becoming smarter day-by-day that makes it difficult to detect such illegal practices. The problem associated with such illegal drug trade is prevalent among almost all countries. In an attempt to track counterfeit drug sale in the western Pacific region, last year, US officials established an internet-based pilot called Rapid Alert System to alert local officials.

'We need more innovative solutions for prevention at the manufacturing stage, and for detection in the distribution chain. RFID and other technologies for product tracking are being used in some countries, but we need some means of making these more sophisticated tools available in developing countries,' he concluded.


Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions
In every story or article this issue is mainly in other countries than the U.S. The U.S. has the most secure system of pharmaceutical distribution in the world. The industry does a good job of policing itself and other than internet purchases(which everyone should understand they are buying at their own risk) I challange anyone to show evidence of counterfeit or tainted medicine within the last 2-3 years. It hasn't happened. The sky is not falling! Focus on the ridiculous prices that are being charged by pharmaceutical companies not issues that currently only plague Nigeria and Mexico!
guest Thursday, February 23, 2006

You May Also Like

View All