Counterfeit Medicines are rampant in many developing countries around the world. The advancement of technology has also been taken advantage of by many fraudsters and scammers operating under illegal authorization and against the law. In as much as using technology being advanced, the ingredients that are being used in producing these counterfeit medicines are cheaper and what Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been warning about.
The Peterson Group, a non-profit organization campaigning against any use of counterfeit medicines in any forms of production, manufacture, importation, exportation and distribution features the known chemicals and substances included in most illegal drugs’ ingredients.
1. Heavy Metals
Test results from a 2010 study shows 26% of sampling medicines purchased from fake online pharmacies contains heavy metal and toxins including mercury. An intake of this element can cause peripheral neuropathy, skin discoloration, and kidney dysfunction and memory impairment.
Arsenic is found to be the cause of a death of a woman in 2006. It was found out that she ordered from an online pharmacy based in Canada and studies show a big amount of arsenic poison in her medicine.
Uranium is one of the most deadly heavy metal which is also used in nuclear bombs. Small doses can cause kidney dysfunction and urinary tract damage.
2. Actual Poison
a. Rat Poison
On the term itself, intake of these substances are already hazardous to your health. In one study of hundreds of Viagra counterfeit medicines in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2012, FDA has found large amounts of rat poison on all drugs. Even in doses as low as 1gram it can still cause diarrhea, vomiting, hair loss and even death.
Antifreeze was once substituted for glycerin killing 365 people in Panama, 88 children in Haiti and harming many more. Lethal doses as small as 1/3 of a teaspoon can cause liver and kidney failure.
3. Household Items
a. Wall Paint
This substance is mostly used by counterfeiters to add color to the drugs. Paint pigments may contain different kinds of heavy metals which can cause blurred vision, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
b. Floor wax
Floor wax is used to provide a nice sheen to mimic a medicine’s coating. This material contains formaldehyde which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and in extreme cases, death.
c. Brick Dust
This is used by fraudsters to create a similar texture to real medicines. Brick dust contains poisonous heavy metals and chemicals.