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Warning on counterfeit meds
[Posted: Thu 18/09/2008 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]
Continued vigilance is required to minimise the risk of counterfeit medicines being supplied in Ireland, according to the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA).
The IPHA, in a statement, said to date, this country has had very few incidences of counterfeit drugs attempting to enter the legitimate supply chain.
Counterfeit medicines, according to the IPHA, are any brand or generic medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients that are deliberately and fraudulently mislabelled by unauthorised parties with respect to source, and/or composition and therapeutic efficacy.
They include products without active ingredients or with the wrong or insufficient active ingredients, or with fake packaging.
The World Health Organisation estimates that up to 10% of the medicines in the global medicine supply chain are counterfeit. In addition, over 60% of medicines purchased on the internet are estimated to be fake or substandard.
More than four million counterfeit medicines were seized at Europe's borders in 2007; a 51% increase on the previous year.
The IPHA has stressed that patients should purchase prescription medicines through authorised distribution channels only.
It says the European pharmaceutical industry recently proposed a track and trace system to enhance product security.
Draft counterfeit medicines legislation from the European Commission includes measures such as increased good manufactuing practice inspections, the use of tamper-evident packaging a ban on repackaging of medicines.
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