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Fake medication could be on sale at various Swedish state pharmacies
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Counterfeit medicines are not only sold on the Internet. In at least 56
countries, ineffective copies have been sold in the real pharmacy –
resulting to people dying. And no one can guarantee that Swedish
pharmacies are free of counterfeits.
By the year 2017, the European pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry
would have introduced a new secure system to prevent counterfeit drugs
end up in pharmacies.
Each box of medicine can be traced from the customer to the factory.
But before the new system starts running, there is no guarantee that
Swedish pharmacies are not affected by counterfeiting today.
“There is a growing problem, but hopefully we have no counterfeits in
the legal supply chain. But we can not guarantee,” says Anita Finne
Grahnen, an expert in the organisation, LIF, the trade organization for
research-based pharmaceutical companies in Sweden.
Both in Europe and the United States, forged samples of vital medicines are sold in pharmacies.
In England, a copy of the drug Zyprexa, mainly used to treat psychosis, was discovered. The drug lacked the active ingredient.
And in the United States it was revealed a few years ago that a fake
version of cancer drug Avastin was in circulation in the heart of the
medicine supply chain. It was a Danish wholesaler that had shipped out
the drug that proved to be completely ineffective. In April this year
came new alarms about false Avastin drugs exported from England.
These events are a horror scenario for the pharmaceutical industry.
“It is a heinous crime. If ones take the medicine for cancer and it
does not help and they’ll die. Who checks when the medication was
really genuine? No! It's almost the perfect crime,”
said David Shore, Global Security at Pfizer.
According to David Shore, the problem of counterfeit drugs is far from
limited to Viagra sales online. On the contrary, counterfeited are sold
in all sorts of drugs stores.
“We have received reports of counterfeit medicines from 105 countries.
In 56 countries, we have found counterfeit versions of our products
into the legitimate supply chain. These are 23 different products,
including growth hormone, anti-malaria vaccine, cancer medicine,” says
Sweden has not yet found any instances of false medicine, but a few
years ago it was revealed a load of genuine medicines in counterfeit
The Swedish import of drugs is mostly of two kinds of actors, direct
importers by the manufacturers and parallel importers. There are about
15 parallel importers who are approved by the Swedish Medical Product
They buy up lots of excess medicines from other approved European
wholesalers. The drugs are then packed on in Poland, for example, and
sold to Swedish pharmacies.
According to a report by the MPA, the many the middlemen the increase the risk of counterfeits to reach Swedish customers.
Products are assessed according to how the package looks like, manufacturing codes and distinct appearance.
But Swedish importers do not have their own routine checks of medicinal content.
By Scancomark.se Team
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