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.
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