"There is a growing threat to patient safety in the developed and developing world," said Jo Harkness, of the International Alliance of Patients' Organizations. "Currently the low penalties for counterfeits are shocking. Countering supply chains is vital." The call was made at the sidelines of the World Health Organization's annual assembly.
Kustan Tinah of Indonesia's National Agency for Drug and Food Control said that in more than half the cases of counterfeit antibiotics, painkillers and other medicines detected in Indonesia, they had not found any active ingredient or if found there was very little of it.
He added that up to one to two percent of the drugs distributed were fake, "We've even seen criminal rings trading from illicit drugs to counterfeit medicines, because it's less risky," Bale commented.