Counterfeit and substandard medicines


Counterfeit and substandard medicines


Valentin Ovcharov
Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Sofia ‘‘St. Kliment Ohridski”


The EU has sharply increased the amount of counterfeit medicines that fall into the pharmacy network, a World Health Organization report said. According to him, about 42% of these products are antibiotics and approximately 18% are psychotropic substances. Many counterfeits have been found among the so-called food supplements and medical cosmetics. About 80% of fake drugs are seized before entering the pharmacy network, but others reach the consumer. Counterfeit drugs are difficult to determine because time and costly laboratory equipment are needed, says the report. "Doublets" often contain the same substances as the original and even the same quantities. Where and from whom their producer purchased the raw material in most cases is not established. Sometimes only "harmless" substances are included in these "drugs".