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.

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WHO Study

Dangerous Counterfeits

One in ten medicines in developing countries is counterfeit or of substandard quality, according to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO). For the Global Surveillance and Monitoring System report (GSMS), published 28 November 2017, WHO experts evaluated global data from the past four years. They counted 1,500 cases of counterfeit, deficient or unauthorized medicines since 2013, with each case involving thousands of illegal products. The highest number of incidents came from Africa (42%), followed by the Americas and Europe (both 21%). Antimalarial drugs and antibiotics were the medicines most frequently counterfeited, but many contraceptives, vaccines and dietary medications were bogus as well. In addition to the immense health risk for patients who take fake drugs, counterfeit medicines cost the global healthcare system USD 30 billion per year.

And expensive brand medicines are not the only counterfeit material. WHO estimates that half of all counterfeits are copies of generic medicines – drugs for which patent protection has expired. The organization cites only the reported cases; most likely, the number of undeclared cases is considerably higher. In addition, WHO estimates that 169,000 children die of pneumonia each year because they receive counterfeit or deficient medicines. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, counterfeit medications also cause an additional 116,000 malaria deaths annually.

To reduce the number of deaths due to counterfeit medications, WHO established a global monitoring system for the medicines market in 2013. The organization trained 550 people in 141 countries specifically for this purpose. Now, in the first study of this kind in decades, drugs are included that have been deliberately falsified, do not meet quality standards, have not been approved or have not been adequately tested.

December 11, 2017
Source: WHO GSMS Report 2017

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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