Saturday, June 5, 2010

Health Day: Dangers Lurk in Impotence Drugs Sold on Web

"Study finds many contain toxins, or too much/too little of the active ingredient."

Amanda Gardner in Health Day reports on a new South Korean study warning of the dangers of buying erectile dysfunction drugs over the internet.

The new study, which was conducted in South Korea and is being presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting in San Francisco, “finds that not only can these knock-off drugs be contaminated, they may contain too much of the active ingredient or none at all. The drugs could especially be dangerous for men with hypertension or heart disease, the study found.”

The following are the highlights from Ms. Gardner’s story:

· "There are lots of rip-offs," said Dr. John Morley, director of geriatrics and acting director of endocrinology at Saint Louis University. "There's still a lot of evidence that many of the things you buy off the Internet without going through a regular pharmacy might appear cheaper or better but they're usually not and they usually don't work."

· "Men who have sexual dysfunction are prepared to try anything and they do try a large number of bizarre things," said Morley. "They try all the Viagra look-alikes, so people are going to buy them."

· In the study, the South Korean team compared 19 counterfeit erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs against prescription Viagra, obtained directly from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, and Cialis, provided by Lilly.

· About one-third of the counterfeit pills actually differed in size from the real thing, while 42 percent differed in color.

· Fifty-eight percent had too much active ingredient, sometimes as much as 2.4 times more, while 3 percent had no active ingredient at all.

· Some contained unapproved compounds intended to promote an erection.

· Only one of the counterfeit drugs contained "proper active ingredients," the researchers stated. Some contained potential toxins, including mercury and lead.

· Even genuine Viagra has risks, experts note, especially for men who take nitrates for chest pain. And there could be drug interactions with both real and fake ED drugs.

· "All these drugs have side effects and that's probably the big reason why patients should be getting them through a physician," Morley said. "While these things may be cheaper, they potentially have much greater side effects."

The study reinforces the deadly issue of fraudulent, adulterated and counterfeit medications which seem to proliferate on the internet and ultimately lead to the contamination of the legitimate pharmaceutical supply chain.

Secure Pharma Chain Blog, recommends that all members of the pharmaceutical supply chain use a variety of technologies and solutions to protect their inventories from fraudulent medications.

To learn more about pharmaceutical supply chain solutions, visit:

Read the entire Health Day article, visit:

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