Monday, August 24, 2015

Common Ingredients of a Counterfeit Medicine

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

a.            Mercury

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.

b.            Arsenic

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.

c.             Uranium

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.

b.            Antifreeze

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.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Dangerous Business of Drug Smuggling

Illegal trade of medicines considered harmful to health without proper monitoring and prescription is an international issue and a long-time problem among many governmental institutions.

There are rampant reports on the trade of drugs such as cocaine and heroin. It has long been a frustrating feature and the government as well as the public has been in constant pursuit against its distribution. After years of attempt to combat the illegal drug trade, nations have realized cooperation among international actions is the only effective way to restrain the trade.

Africa and Asia have been victims of these trades because of loose security. Because of the worsening effect on each nation, many cities have taken extra precaution on the deals involving drugs and medications.

Indonesia is one example of one of the nation’s known to have the most secured policy when it comes to punishing fraudsters in this field. From Jakarta to other parts of the archipelago, capital punishment is the worst penalty sentenced to those found guilty of smuggling illegal drugs within any part of the country. Earlier this year, nine foreign and local individuals were executed through firing squad because of drug trafficking.

However, war on drugs not only involves the illegal importation of medicine.

Counterfeited medicines which are legally distributed in the market and prescribed by legitimate doctors but are made with fake materials can also harm many individuals. The number of circulating within and without the country is vague. Since there are little tools we can use to determine the legitimacy of these drugs, the percentage of getting it smuggled into a country is high.

According to The Peterson Group, a non-profit organization which advocates the elimination of any use, production and distribution of counterfeit medicines, many scammers are continuously trafficking counterfeited medicines in countries with little or no anti-counterfeiting equipment.

Since the scope of drug trafficking varies from one country to another, many nations are forced to face the issue individually despite international cooperation.

Many people think that the issue of drug smuggling will take a long time to defeat. Some even think that it can never be solved at all. What many people do not understand is that drug smuggling and any business related herewith is dangerous.

Let this be a warning: drugs destroy lives and communities, undermine sustainable human development and generate crime. Drugs affect all sectors of society in all countries; in particular, drug abuse affects the freedom and development of young people, the world’s most valuable asset. Drugs are a grave threat to the health and well-being of all mankind, the independence of States, democracy, the stability of nations, the structure of all societies, and the dignity and hope of millions of people and their families.