Globalization is changing the world, and so is the internet. People buy drugs online all the time. This allows them to bypass the hefty fees associated with the medicine you find in local pharmacies. They can also access medical items that can’t be found in their community. For the most part, the internet has improved healthcare. But as many pharmacy reviews keep mentioning, the internet has also extended the reach of counterfeit medicine. Fake drugs have become so prevalent that it has become nearly impossible to separate them from the genuine product.
Some patients can’t help but wonder whether they should abandon online pharmacies altogether. After all, their brick-and-mortar counterparts provide a level of certainty and credibility in terms of quality that you don’t find with online drugstores. But others don’t have that option. They can’t afford the medicine sold locally. Their only choice is to become more proficient at spotting the fake pills.
What is Fake Medicine?
Fake medicine is problematic because it looks identical to genuine medicine. However, it has no active ingredient, the wrong quantity of the active ingredient, the wrong label, or it was produced under dubious conditions.
Most of the fake pills you find on the market today have been traced back to Asian nations like China and India. Mexico has also gained a reputation for selling fake pills. The fraudsters that make counterfeit medical products normally target expensive pills with a lot of demand.
One of the most prominent is Fentanyl, an opioid that is dozens of times stronger than heroin. People use it to fight chronic pain. Street dealers love Fentanyl because so many people are desperate to get their hands on it. However, you are discouraged from purchasing such powerful painkillers from unauthorized parties.
Patients rarely listen to such advice because they are desperate. This is why the market is saturated with so many counterfeit cancer pills. Cancer treatments are expensive but cancer patients are desperate. As such, they are quick to succumb to the offerings of suspicious medical dealers despite all the noise the FDA has made about the fake Avastin and Carmustine drugs on the market.
The sexual enhancement market probably has it worst. There are too many unaccredited dealers selling fake sexual enhancers. The same goes for generic antibiotics and pain killers.
Why Fake Pills Are Dangerous?
Fake pills are not just an inconvenience. They have been associated with quite a number of deadly consequences, for instance:
✔ If a drug has no active ingredient, it won’t work for you. As a result, your illness will go untreated, getting worse over time and eventually doing irreversible damage, possibly even killing you in the process. This can also happen if the active ingredient is available in lower quantities than promised.
✔ If the drug has an active ingredient in massive quantities, the resulting overdose could burden you with additional illnesses.
✔ With some fake pills, the ingredients are poisonous, either because of the components that were used or because of the manufacturing process.
In all these cases, fake medicine will make your health worse. This is why you should apply caution whenever you go shopping for medicine.
How to Spot Fake Pills?
The best way to determine the authenticity of a drug is to submit it to a lab for testing. However, that takes time. What do you do when you need your medicine now but you don’t know for certain whether or not it is counterfeit?
In other words, how can you spot fake drugs? Well, you have a few options at your disposal:
Start by looking at the packaging of the drug you wish to purchase. If you have purchased the product in question before, determine whether or not the package looks different. Are the letters the right font and size? What about the colors? Do you see spelling errors? If the package meets all your expectations, including a batch number and an expiry date, look for the manufacturer’s address and see if you can trace it. If you can’t find proof that the manufacturer is located in the area where their address suggests, you probably have counterfeit medicine on your hands. You can also make this conclusion if the batch number and expiry date are missing.
Don’t stop at the package. Look at the pill as well. Ensure that it has the right shape, size, and color. Common signs of counterfeit pills include discoloration, cracks, swelling, crystals on the walls of the container, excess powder at the bottom, etc.
Where did your drugs come from? Some sources are more trustworthy than others. Look for a qualified store that has all the necessary licensing, accreditation, and qualified staff. Companies that peddle fake drugs normally operate illegally. They are also manned by employees that don’t have any medical knowledge. This is why pharmacy reviews are so important. They will enable you to sieve through all the poison until you find a trustworthy drugstore from which you can buy genuine medicine.
Medicine is expensive. This can’t be helped. Medical manufacturers spend a lot of money creating their drugs. So you shouldn’t be so surprised to find that medical products are not cheap. This is what makes fake pills so attractive. They are shockingly inexpensive. This is also the easiest way to identify them. The price tags attached to fake medication are too good to be true. Though, money isn’t always an accurate indicator of quality. There are plenty of fake pills that cost the same as their genuine counterparts.
You can’t completely eliminate the threat of fake medicine. This is because counterfeit products are too wide-spread. Plenty of legitimate pharmacies purchase fake pills every single day without knowing it. However, just because counterfeit medicine is everywhere doesn’t mean it can’t be avoided. You have to become an attentive shopper, one that closely scrutinizes every medical product you purchase. Counterfeiters are not quite as detail-oriented as you think. Many of them know that most consumers pay very little attention to the drugs they buy. This is why they are not afraid to let a few spelling errors slip through the cracks. If you can apply diligence and care to every medical shopping decision you make, you could eliminate fake pills from your life once and for all.