Beware of Counterfeits!

Protecting Patients Is a Priority for Bayer

Counterfeit drugs have developed into a serious global problem in recent years. Even in countries with a safe system for marketing medicinal products, patients must know about the risks. Counterfeit drugs can endanger the health of unsuspecting users or even be life-threatening. Bayer regards it as its duty to stand up for patient safety in the face of the threat posed by counterfeit drugs.

Counterfeits: How to Protect Yourself


On this page you will find information about how to protect yourself from fake medicines.

Recognizing Fakes

Recognizing Fakes
How can you recognize counterfeit drugs especially while internet shopping or travelling? Find out more…
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Background Information

Background Information

You can find answers to the following questions:

  • Who is affected by counterfeit drugs?
  • What are counterfeits?
  • What about products that are so substandard as to be comparable to counterfeits?
  • What are the risks for your health?
  • What problems exist on a global level?
  • Which organizations, associations and authorities can help?
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Fraudulent Use of Brands

Fraudulent Use of Brands
They look like the real deal. The product name rings a bell. The logo of a well-known pharmaceutical company is visibly printed on the label. However, appearances are deceptive. Find out how you can recognize drug frauds.
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Bayer’s Commitment against Counterfeits

Bayer’s Commitment against Counterfeits
Bayer has started its “Beware of Counterfeits” campaign to target the issue of counterfeited medicines. Close cooperation with national and international authorities devoted to this problem contributes to its success.
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Useful Links about Counterfeit Drugs

Useful Links about Counterfeit Drugs
This list of useful links contains the website addresses of national and international organizations involved in counterfeit drug issues.
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News

Drug Administration Warns of Fake Hepatitis- C Medication

Counterfeits frequently differ only in minute details from the original medications. This is true in the current case as well. In recent weeks, fake hepatitis C medicines have been available on the German market on numerous instances. According to the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM), various drugs for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in adults are affected.

In some cases, the color of some of the counterfeit tablets was different than usual. Additionly, spelling errors could be found on the packaging. Fakes could also be identified through modified details on the outer cartons, however, these are impossible to recognize without a direct comparison to original packaging, the BfArM explained.

In some of the packages examined so far, the tablets contained the right active ingredients in the appropriate dosage, and presented no danger to consumers. Nevertheless, the BfArM advises all patients to inspect their medication carefully, and to consult a pharmacist in case of doubt.

Profitable Business for Fraudsters

The growing number of fake drugs indicates that counterfeiters clearly find manipulation very lucrative. They buy medicines in developing countries, manipulate the packaging by sorting medications into imitation packaging and reintroduce the processed and counterfeit products into the markets in other countries as profitably as possible. Presumably, the drugs currently affected came to Germany this way as well. This is why pharmaceutical manufacturers frequently mark their products with special "country identifiers" - for example, by using a different color for the tablets.

You can find more information about the drugs and batch numbers affected on the BfArM website.

September 1, 2017
Sources: Article “Good pills, bad pills,” BfArM