Written by: Aiya Rodjel
The new year marks fresh beginnings, but it also meant the flu season this year. Many Filipinos across the country are fighting flu symptoms such as coughs and colds. In the years past, this may not have sparked much concern. However, the recent surge in new COVID-19 cases has caused a lot of worries. Hence, there has been an increase in demand for prescription drugs in recent weeks.
Unfortunately, the demand for medicines has also caused the proliferation of counterfeit medicines. Hence, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns the public against the dangers of fake drugs, most especially paracetamol. With fiber internet in your arsenal, you can equip yourself and your loved ones with the knowledge to decipher counterfeit drugs from real ones.
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Why are counterfeit drugs harmful to you?
Counterfeit drugs can be dangerous for your health. Fake medicine often contains the wrong amount of active ingredients. There are instances when they’re too little, and there are some when they’re too much. Some fake medicines may not even have the active ingredient you need to address your needs.
There are also cases wherein counterfeit drugs are genuine but expired. Expiration dates in medicine exist for a reason. They ensure that you are safe from potential harm. In extreme cases, counterfeit drugs contain harmful ingredients like rat poison.
Taking counterfeit drugs can have serious consequences. First of all, unapproved drugs won’t address the infection you’re trying to remedy. Substandard drugs can also cause a lot of unwanted side effects. These may lead to more severe health problems. In the worst-case scenario, counterfeit medications can cause death which could’ve been prevented if only patients had taken the right medicine.
How can you avoid counterfeit medicines?
Spotting counterfeit drugs can be tricky because drug counterfeiters develop them to look genuine. However, you can spare yourself from counterfeit medicine and its potential health risks by taking note of the following:
Buy drugs from reputable sources only
When purchasing prescription medication and other drugs, it’s vital you carefully choose where you buy them from. If you can do so, you should products only from trusted sources. These include licensed pharmacies, hospitals, and convenience stores.
Online pharmacies are prevalent nowadays, but it’s essential you decipher if the online pharmacy you’re eyeing is credible or not. When buying from online pharmacies, make sure the website is legitimate. Their website should mirror the ones indicated on the pharmacy’s official social media pages.
Through a reliable internet service provider in the Philippines, you can investigate the sources where you’re planning to purchase from. You can check for the physical address of the sources near you.
Watch out for false promises
Some counterfeit medications offer big promises like ‘cure-all types’ or ‘power to treat cancer’ without having the certifications to back up these claims. Pharmaceutical products may help address select ailments, but they’re not miracle workers. If you think that the product seems too good to be true, you should look for another option instead.
Check the price tag
Legitimate drugs come with a corresponding price tag. Their price reflects the potency of their ingredients. Counterfeit drugs are usually cheaper than your usual prescription drugs. Hence, you should hesitate from purchasing a drug if the price is too low or too good to be true.
On the other hand, generic drugs should not be confused with counterfeit drugs. These types of medication are as effective as branded medicine. It just so happens that big pharmaceutical manufacturers did not develop them.
While they may be cheaper than branded drugs, they don’t pose a threat to your threat. Before you dismiss an inexpensive product as a counterfeit drug, it’s essential to confirm if it’s generic or not.
If you’re not confident about the prices of pharmaceutical products, you can research on the internet. With an internet service provider in the Philippines, you can access all the information you need.
Examine prescription drugs carefully
To protect consumers, many pharmaceutical companies have issued advisories on what their genuine products look like. Before you pay for the actual product, you should decipher the product you’ll be receiving.
Illegal drugs usually have different shapes, sizes, tastes, or colors. The packaging often looks poorly constructed as well. There are usually spelling or grammatical errors on the packaging or instructions. If you spot these red flags in the drug you’re buying, you should decline to purchase the product.
When you spot fake drugs, especially in developing countries like the Philippines, what do you do?
Authorities worldwide like the World Health Organization and law enforcement agencies work with one another to protect patients from the potential harm of fake pharmaceuticals. Criminal investigations are made against guilty parties across the country.
There may be supply chain challenges in the country’s drug distribution system right now, but it’s important to stay vigilant. The counterfeit drug problem isn’t just prevalent in the Philippines. It also occurs in other countries. That’s why you should refrain from buying counterfeit drugs, even in high-income countries.
If you find counterfeit drugs in the market, you must report the offenders to the proper authorities. Drug counterfeiting is illegal, and the law will punish offenders. You can search for the telephone number of authorities near you online for your convenience.
Staying safe amid the threat of counterfeit drugs
If you’re planning to buy medicines, you must remain guarded. Fake medications are illegal and potentially dangerous to consumers. Hence, it would help to keep yourself informed on what’s genuine from what’s not through research. Of course, you can do it if you have a speedy fiber internet connection.
As a new and reliable internet service provider in the Philippines, we keep you updated on the latest news on public health, including counterfeit medication. Through our fiber internet connection, you can connect with a licensed pharmacist and arm yourself with the knowledge to educate others well.
Knowledge is power, and illegal drugs pose a serious threat to public health. With fiber internet, you can face these dangers armed with all tools you need. Contact our team today to know more. Additionally, you may check our official social media page for more information.