Counterfeit Medications

Thursday, April 28, 2011

While the U.S. drug supply is still the safest in the world, consumers must still be vigilant about their medications given the recent rise in counterfeiting. Dr. Edward Hill looks at counterfeit medications in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, counterfeit drug investigations have quadrupled since 2000. The World Health Organization estimates that 7 to 10 percent of the medicines in the world market are fake. These products may be expired, contain incorrect ingredients, the wrong amounts of active ingredients, or be enclosed in packaging that doesnt match the product inside.

It is difficult for patients to tell just by looking at a medication, or its packaging, that the product is counterfeit.

Pay attention to your medicine. Know the instructions on how to take it, the correct dosage, and interactions with other medications.

Talk to your pharmacist if your medication is:

Different in shape, color, taste, smell or feel

Packaged differently, or

Does not produce the expected results.

Be careful when ordering medications on the Internet. Buy only medications from pharmacy Web sites that post the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites symbol from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.