There are lots of counterfeits in our modern world. There can be fake copies of any product, and some of them pose no risk to consumers, though the disappointment of not getting the thing you wanted to buy is surely unpleasant. However, using counterfeit drugs may lead to far more dangerous consequences. Unfortunately, fake medications are not uncommon nowadays. Everyone has to be aware of the risk of buying counterfeit drugs, and if you should use any medicine, pay close attention to where you buy it and take all possible precautions to avoid purchasing counterfeits.
Why do counterfeit erectile dysfunction drugs exist?
ED medications are one of the most commonly-counterfeited drugs. Though all kinds of medications can be counterfeited with modern technology, the danger is extremely high with Viagra (Sildenafil) and other similar “lifestyle drugs”. There are many advantages that make these drugs appealing to criminals.
They tend to work with a number of ED drugs because:
- People tend to buy ED drugs without a prescription and outside of local drugstores
- Brand-name ED drugs are quite expensive
- The demand for ED medications is very high
Many counterfeit manufacturers take advantage of the tendency of men to avoid talking to the doctor about their sexual problems and buy ED drugs without prescriptions. Even if they hold a prescription, a person that has to pay money for the tablets will often prefer to find cheaper pills than those available in a local store or pharmacy.
The official World Health Organization statistics on this problem are far from comprehensive and detailed. It has been estimated that globally, approximately 10% of all available drugs are fake. This figure varies from 1% in developed countries to nearly 30% in developing countries. The percent of dangerous medications sold through the internet is much higher, and can reach over 50% fakes available on thousands of sites which sell medical products.
Varieties of fake ED drugs
There are many different types of fake ED drugs.
Common counterfeits include:
- Herbal ED supplements, which consist of substances that differ from those that are listed on the package, or which the supplements are supposed to contain.
- ED drugs whose ingredients may differ from what is stated on the package.
- Counterfeit ED pills, which mimic the shape, form, blisters and package of the original ED drugs from legal manufacturers.
Buying herbal Viagra or other herbal ED products, customers believe that they will get a healthy alternative to their medicine, but a high percentage of these products are not real and contain ingredients not listed on the packages.
Many kinds of sildenafil, tadalafil and similar ED pills which claim to be cheap generic products in fact come from illegal manufacturers. These drugs may contain any substance, from sugar and calcium to countless dangerous and poisonous chemicals.
While medications with obscure origins have no chance of making their way into into licensed pharmacies, the counterfeits which look like the brand-name drugs tend to find their way to the supply chain. Even a fake Viagra pill, made in some dirty basement with the use of blue ink for color and floor wax for shining texture, can look so similar to brand-name Viagra that even a specialist will not be able to tell the difference.
We recommend to read: Erectile Dysfunction Pills – the Major Priority of Canadian Health&Care Pharmacy
The range of the problem
While some fake medicines are made in small apartments, garages or basements, other counterfeits may be produced in developing countries in big factories, which, for example, work legally in the day time and produce fake products at night. Counterfeiters are constantly developing highly sophisticated methods of packaging that include a number of security features like holograms and others.
There have been many cases of fake drug labs working with complex international frameworks of storage and transportation. That is why experts link the production of fake medications to organized crime. While international police, customs officials, pharmaceutical companies, regulatory agencies and scientists collaborate to track down fake drugs, the battle not soon to end. Officially-estimated counterfeit medication sales amount to over $75 billion per year.
Fatal health risk
Some counterfeits and fake drugs contain ingredients that cause serious health problems. The question is: Why would anybody who makes fake drugs put poison or different active ingredients in? Unfortunately, we don’t have a sensible answer, but we know that counterfeit drugs may contain dangerous chemicals in doses that pose a fatal health risk.
For example, in 2008, 150 men were hospitalized in Singapore, and 4 died after taking ED pills that were supposed to contain sildenafil (the active ingredient of Viagra). The pills were found to contain glyburide, which is an anti-diabetic drug, and which causes blood sugar to drop to dangerous levels in people who doesn’t have diabetes.
One may attribute the danger of counterfeit drugs to the eastern world and say that in developed countries, consumers are free from this risk, but this is far from the truth. In 2012, for example, authorities in England and Spain uncovered a crime ring that was distributing a huge amount of fake erectile dysfunction drugs imported from China and Singapore. The gang was planning to sell the pills online in many Western countries.
There have also been recent cases of serious health endangerment due to fake herbal ED products. Instead of the stated ingredients, these products were found to contain dangerous medical substances, including high doses of ED medications and some poisons.
Stay alert and avoid counterfeits
What should we do to protect ourselves from counterfeits and fake drugs?
- Buy your medicine from reputable, legal pharmacies
- Avoid unregistered, illegal stores
- If you are going to travel, try to take any drugs which you may need on your trip with you
- Don’t take any medicine that looks suspicious, has unclear printing on the package, or any other defects which may be related to counterfeiting
- Educate yourself about the drugs and the pharmacies you use
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