FDA warns against fake meds sold by online pharmacies | Inquirer Technology

FDA warns against fake meds sold by online pharmacies

By: - Reporter / @mj_uyINQ
/ 08:00 AM November 19, 2014

MANILA, Philippines–The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that the proliferation of Internet or online pharmacies was complicating the fight against counterfeit medicines, posing greater danger to the health of Filipinos.

At a press briefing on Monday to mark National Consciousness Week against Counterfeit Medicines, FDA Officer in Charge Nicolas Lutero III admitted the agency was having a hard time going after syndicates that use the Internet to sell fake drugs.

“We are facing a problem with Internet pharmacies,” Lutero said. “A lot of medicines are being sold through the Internet from different websites so we have difficulty monitoring them.”


While the FDA has managed to shut down local online pharmacies, Lutero said the agency was powerless against those based abroad.


“We cannot run after them because they simply say they are not violating Philippine laws since they are operating overseas,” Lutero said.

He said online pharmacies continued to proliferate because many Filipinos patronized them.

“A lot of people order medicines from them so that is really our dilemma,” he said. He appealed to the public to stop buying medicines online so as not to fall prey to scams.

Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI)-Asia Pacific data ranked the Philippines eighth in terms of prevalence of fake drugs between 2011 and 2013. Fake drugs were reported mostly in Metro Manila, Cebu and Laguna.

China and Japan had the biggest number of incidents involving counterfeit medicines in the region with 712 and 237 cases, respectively. Ahead of the Philippines—which accounted for 50 cases—were Pakistan with 237 incidents; South Korea, 154; Indonesia, 141; India, 108; and Taiwan, 79.

PSI-Asia Pacific director Samson Chiu said the top three fake drugs being sold were cardiovascular, metabolism and anti-infective medicines.


About 90 percent of the counterfeit medicines were to be taken orally, while 6 and 4 percent, respectively, were injectable and inhalable drugs, Chiu said.

“It comes from all over the place and in different forms. That is why no single government or agency can tackle this problem of counterfeit drugs,” he said.

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As for the Philippines, most fake drugs came from China and India, he said.

TOPICS: Asia-Pacific, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health, Philippines
TAGS: Asia-Pacific, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health, Philippines

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