Skip to comments.The Wrong Way to Stop Fake Drugs
Posted on 04/23/2012 8:22:56 PM PDT by neverdem
IN 2007-8, when counterfeit versions of heparin, a blood-thinning drug, were shipped from China to the United States market, 149 people died. In the last few months, bogus versions of the cancer drug Avastin, apparently shipped from the Middle East, have surfaced in clinics in California, Illinois and Texas. Thankfully, so far as we know, they havent killed anyone, but more and more cases of dangerous fake drugs are being reported by the Food and Drug Administration. Numerous incidents surely go unreported, the evidence swallowed, the deaths incorrectly attributed to natural causes.
Fighting the fake-drug menace is like playing whack-a-mole. It is technically illegal for individuals to order drugs online from other countries. And yet no sooner does the F.D.A. shut down...
The logic behind the current law is that it protects Americans from buying dangerous drugs. But there are better ways to guarantee that. In a recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper, I assessed the quality and price of drugs procured through Internet pharmacies. As expected, I found several foreign sites that sold fake drugs. But of the international Web pharmacies certified by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association or PharmacyChecker.com 23 in all, with 211 drugs sampled all passed quality-control tests. After all, they were the same drugs made by the same companies, just in different locations.
Careless buyers play Russian roulette, but those who look for credentialed sites can purchase safe drugs at a significant discount. Some Americans know this, but far more should. And it should be made entirely legal for them to do so.
Buying drugs online from overseas isnt for everyone. It should remain a limited option for desperate cash buyers sick people with limited resources and insurance coverage not a way for well-insured patients to reduce their co-pay...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
fake drugs are a major problem in poorer countries like the Philippines and Africa...and some “brand name” drugs turn out to be counterfeit.
A major killer, espcially of those who need antibiotics or treatment for malaria...and probably contributes to antibiotic resistance.
And that doesn’t count things like fake parts for machines, cars etc. Blame China...people will pay more to buy from the US, Japan or Germany at good stores, but the poor figure it might work so sometimes are bilked by shoddy workmanship.
It reminds me of a boudreaux joke.
Boudreaux had a problem with local teenagers stealing watermelons out of his watermelon patch. Every night one of his melons would go missing.
So as a deterent he put a sign in his patch that said, "One of these watermelons has been injected with cyanide." The next morning none of his melons were missing, but there was a second sign, that said, "Now there are two."