Friday, July 24, 2009

The World Health Organization estimates Poland spends up to $31.6M USD Annually on Fake Medicine

The following report from Polish Radio estimates the annual spend by Polish consumers on counterfeit products and seizures by customs officials:

Customs officials say that medications are the third most often falsified product, giving the example of the popular sexual enhancement drug Viagra as often being made of Plaster of Paris.

WHO adds that it is particularly easy to purchase false drugs in Poland as one can acquire medication through the internet – on auction sites and on sites who claim to be pharmacies.

According to WHO, Poles spend around 100 million zloty (over $31.6 Million USD) a year on fake medicine – most often on sexual performance, weight loss and psychotropic drugs.

Cases have been regularly reported in the press, however, of Poles being taken for a ride by unscrupulous dealers. Recently a teenager from Silesia took Chinese booster drugs that turned out to contain significant quantities of lead. A resident of Elk, northern Poland, was arrested three weeks ago for selling false sexual enhancement drugs over the internet – made of plaster.

In 2008, Polish customs officials seized over 100,000 false drugs. Medications are the third most often falsified products following cigarettes and electronic devices.

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