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Articles from September 2007

Laser technology can detect fake medicines

British scientists have developed a laser that can detect counterfeit drugs by picking up the characteristic light signature of pharmaceuticals’ active chemical ingredients through glass, plastic and cardboard. Trials of the new laser have proved that in principle real antimalarial medicines can be distinguished from fakes, without opening sealed bottles or packs. Between 50 and 90 per cent of malaria medicines sold in some African countries are thought to be fake, and account for up to 20 per cent of deaths from the disease. Read The Times online article, ‘Laser eye can detect fake medicines that cost lives’. (24 September 2007, The Times Newspaper, UK)

Factory for fake medicines

A remotely located Chinese factory has been exposed for providing counterfeit Viagra® with “overdose” levels of the active ingredient sildenafil to British pharmacies. Speaking to an undercover journalist, the factory’s owner admitted: “Producing the pills themselves is relatively easy but if the packaging isn’t good enough you can’t sell it for full price”. The fake drug is life-threatening if taken by men with heart conditions. Read more in these articles from The Sunday Times newspaper, ‘Factory for fake prescription drugs’ and ‘Killer strength Viagra on sale in chemists’. (23 September 2007, The Sunday Times Newspaper, UK)

Five found guilty of fake medicine scam

After the biggest counterfeit drugs bust in British history, five people have been found guilty of conspiracy to supply millions of Euros worth of counterfeit Viagra. Thousands offake tablets were made in India, China and Pakistan, then sent to the UK, before being sold via online pharmacies to customers in Britain, the US, Canada and the Bahamas. Find out more by reading The Times article ‘Fake world of the Viagra plotters’. (18 September 2007, The Times Newspaper, UK)

Five million counterfeit sexual stimulant tablets and sedative drugs confiscated in DUBAI

Counterfeit medicines worth almost four million Euros have been seized by Dubai Customs during a raid of a company operating in the Jebel Ali Free Zone Area. Ahmad Butti Ahmad, Director-General of Dubai Customs, said that this confiscation was one of the largest of its kind in the region. The fourth Global Conference on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy will be held in Dubai next February – this will be the first timethatthe Conference is held outside Europe. (11 September 2007, Gulfnews.com)

Council of Europe passes resolution outlining good mail-order practices

The Council of Europe has adopted a resolution recommending that the governments of the member states of the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health Field implement mail-order standards regarding the safety and quality of medicines, namely:

  • delivery methods and related responsibilities;
  • counselling and information for the patient;
  • mandatory notification;
  • conditions for sale and distribution;
  • exclusion of unsuitable medicines from mail-order trade;
  • marketing and advertising;
  • handling of prescriptions for mail orders of prescription-only medicines;
  • establishment of focal points and their role and contribution to international co-operation;
  • measures to follow up on offences. (5 September 2007, Council of Europe, EU)