Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pirated Pills

The Sunday Leader reported that: Leading medical professionals claim that 30% of the medical drugs currently circulating in the country of Sir Lanka are fakes…

Several doctors at leading universities have voiced their concern over the validity of the drugs administered to patients and the difficulty in discerning the real version from the fake. “They (the counterfeiters) have all the packaging equipment — they look and feel exactly the same as genuine tablets even I, as a doctor, wouldn’t be able to tell them apart — but they are fake and sometimes harmful.”

The fake prescription can contain a variety of ingredients from sugar to borax, cement, toxic dyes, or other harmful chemicals. The scope of the counterfeits in Sir Lanka is enormous. At a current rate of $300 million in imports a year and a 30% counterfeit rate, the fake drug market would be valued at $90 million a year.

While counterfeit medicines are seen worldwide, two reasons cited for their prevalence in Sir Lanka is the lack of testing facilities locally and the lack of proper regulation. Regulatory authorities often rely on the importing pharmaceutical company testing and certification to document the medicines validity. (This in some cases is rather like putting the fox in charge of guarding the hen house.)

Disheartened, these doctors feel there is no valid way for them to check for substandard drugs in their county. We at XStream understand first hand the importance of pharmaceutical screening. There are options for checking the authenticity and quality of your medicines beyond packaging and traditional security measures. If you would like more information on this quick easy method of pharmaceutical authentication, please visit www.xstreamsystems.net.

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