“Global Pandemic” of Fake Medicines, Say Researchers


There is a global pandemic of counterfeit medications occurring, and the worst part is that no one knows the true scale or level of risk of the problem, according to 17 articles published in a special edition of The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Collectively, teams of researchers from around the world, including from the US government, tested 17,000 drug samples and found that up to 41% failed to meet quality standards.

One study found that 127 of a total of 196 countries had no reliable supply chain counterfeit incident reporting systems. “Improvements in surveillance, including detection of security breaches, data collection, analysis, and dissemination are urgently needed to address public health needs to combat the global counterfeit medicines trade,” concluded the team of University of California San Diego researchers that led that study.

“The falsified drug problem is not new, just bigger than ever,” a press release about that study stated. “According to a 2000 World Health Organization report, almost one-third of identified counterfeit drugs contained no active ingredient; and more than 20 percent either had incorrect quantities of active ingredients or contained the wrong ingredients. Other fraudulent practices included false packaging and high levels of impurities. Each year, it’s estimated between 100,000 and 1 million people die from using counterfeit drugs.”

“The most important takeaway of our study is that we don’t have the necessary data or surveillance to effectuate meaningful public health interventions or policy change,” the lead author said in the press release.

Global pandemic of fake medicines poses urgent risk, scientists say (National Institutes of Health press release on MedicalXpress, April 20, 2015)

Falsified medicines taint global supply (University of California – San Diego press release on MedicalXpress, April 20, 2015)

Mackey, Tim K., Bryan A. Liang, Peter York, and Thomas Kubic. “Counterfeit Drug Penetration into Global Legitimate Medicine Supply Chains: A Global Assessment.” The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, April 20, 2015, 14–0389. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.14-0389. (Abstract and full text)

American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Special Edition (see April 20, 2015)


  1. Have you or a loved one been severely affected by counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs recently? Would you like to tell your story in hopes it never happens to anyone else? We will be shooting interviews next week. If you want to tell your story please email [email protected] with the following information:
    1. Name, Age, City Live In, Photo (You and/or your loved one)
    2. Tell us what happened? How/Where your received the pharmaceuticals? What went wrong? What has been the impact on your life? When did this happen?
    3. Best phone and email to reach you and best time to reach you

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    • Kimdiscovery,

      As the commentors above noted, those of us at this website wish the real pharmacutical drugs we’d gotten, in my case through Walgreens, had been counterfeit drugs. Those is us here, however, all know we suffered the intended adverse effects of big Pharma’s actual psychiatric drugs.

      I will mention one of my lithium’s was recalled, however. I’d have to go through my records to find the company that ran into problems, but it was also prescribed through the very mainstream, Walgreens corporation.

      Do you work for big Pharma?

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  2. How about we come to the realization that most drugs are counterfeit in that they usually inflict toxic, addictive, long-term, and sometimes fatal damage to the individual. Many, if not most are manufactured as synthetic and it is a natural occurrence of the body and the mind to reject that which is foreign to it. This is so with our “very being.” Thus, why we must fight against psychiatry and the mental illness falsehood industry.

    I would like to suggest this; however. I admit that I am no scientist or physician. Yet, I have developed a “layman’s” theory. It appears to me that when the body or mind is first attacked with a traumatic substance and that includes bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells, etc. The body and mind then immediately mobilize to fight those insurgents. Sometimes, they are successful. It has been discovered that many small cancers invade bodies daily and are successfully defeated. However, we then add some kind of chemical or other type method to attack these infiltrators to the body and the mind.

    Then, the body and mind must fight off two invaders; the first trauma and then the second trauma; the chemical or other type method. Sometimes, the body and mind have successfully fought off the first trauma ( the virus, bacteria, cancer, or abuse) but then must still fight off the second trauma (the chemical or other type therapy.) So, the misery is prolonged and in many cases is dangerous, debilitating, or even fatal causing all kinds of horrible “side effects.” This is so dangerous in psychiatric medicine, which is not medicine at all as to cause to rebel and fight for our lives and “sanity.” However, this must also be considered in “traditional physical medicine.” Most health care providers are oblivious to this and many could care less. This is not to say we should abandon the chemical or other type method of attacking the problems. But, the health care providers need to be honest with us about these methods of attacking the problems and that they may be more dangerous than the actual disease or disorder. In psychiatry, where disorders have actually been made up for chemical therapy, it is paramount. But, please do not forget that even in “traditional physical medicine” there are “made up diseases” also for the virtue of use of chemical or other type therapies. I am not trying to minimize the suffering of cancer and other diseases and that there might have been inroads in their cure and treatments; but it is necessary for each patient diagnosed with whatever disease or disorder to give due consideration and thought before beginning any kind of treatment; if possible. Your short-term, long-term health, life and “sanity” and “well-being” depend on it. I welcome those who both may agree or have an alternative viewpoint who respect my opinion. Thank you.

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