FDA warns public vs counterfeit medicine
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - December 26, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued some tips on how consumers could spot counterfeit medicine, which were once described by the World Health Organization as “the silent epidemic.”

According to FDA acting director general Kenneth Hartigan-Go, fake medicine “have harmful effects on the health, and in worst case scenario… can kill patients.”

“They erode public confidence in the healthcare system and health professionals as well as the pharmaceutical industry, the suppliers, and outlets of medicine,” Go said in FDA Advisory No. 2013-069.

Go said fake medicine also “stifle research and development of pharmaceutical companies in discovering new and innovative drugs to combat emerging communicable and non-communicable diseases.”

“They have economic impact on legitimate manufacturers and distributors of original medicine. Drug innovators’ reputations and financial standing which took years to build are simply eroded,” he added.

Go urged the public to know the tell-tale signs of counterfeit medicine for their protection.

“It is important to remember that fast-moving or frequently bought medicine as well as expensive drugs are the targets of counterfeiters. Buy only from legitimate drug outlets,” he said.

Go said consumers should buy only from drug outlets with pharmacists. 

“Ask, if not, question the pharmacist when in doubt on the quality of the medicine being dispensed. You may ask the pharmacist if the drug outlet buys its stocks from legitimate distributors or suppliers/wholesalers,” he added.

Go said consumers should thoroughly check the products they are buying as counterfeit medicine “look similar to the original medicine, but there are differences in the quality of the label, e.g. the quality of the print and color, font size or the logo.”

“If you have used the drug before and noticed any difference in appearance of the packaging or the drug, you may report it to the FDA via e-mail at report@fda.gov.ph,” he added.

ADDED ADVISORY NO CONSUMERS COUNTERFEIT DRUG DRUG ADMINISTRATION FDA KENNETH HARTIGAN-GO MEDICINE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
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