In a recent article in The New York Times, Roger Bate, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of “Phake: The Deadly World of Falsified and Substandard Medicines,” sounded the alarm about the serious health threat of fake drugs.
“More than 8 million people get sick with tuberculosis every year, according to the World Health Organization. In 2011, 1.4 million died from it, making it the world’s deadliest infectious disease after AIDS. Thanks to billions of dollars spent on diagnosis and treatment over the past decade, deaths and infections are slowly declining. Yet a disturbing phenomenon has emerged that could not only reverse any gains we’ve made, but also encourage the spread of a newly resistant form of the disease.
In the largest study of its kind, to be published today in the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, colleagues and I have found that fake and poorly made antibiotics are being widely used to treat tuberculosis. These substandard drugs are almost certainly making the disease more resistant to drugs, posing a grave health threat to communities around the world.”
The problem is not just a world away, it’s right here in your own community. Once considered almost eradicated, TB is on the rise in the U.S. again and with increased world travel, diseases like TB are much more likely to be spread. Doctors here in the U.S. are finding that the disease to be more resistant to traditional drug therapies.
Fake drugs are a far more serious threat to public safety than fake goods and you’re far more likely to face serious jail time for distributing knockoff handbags than counterfeit drugs.
Try your hand at spotting the fake. Look for my new book, “Counterfeit Cure” on Amazon Kindle in March 2013.