Information regularly appears that in Russia there are more and more counterfeit medicines.
Information regularly appears that in Russia there are more and more counterfeit medicines. It seems that every time, turning to the pharmacy, we run the risk of running into a fake. Meanwhile, the leaders of large dealer companies and pharmacy chains categorically refute this. They claim that in recent years, fake drugs have almost disappeared from drug stores.
differ significantly in assessing the share of counterfeit drugs in the Russian market. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies Russia as a country where the share of fakes is very high - more than a third. Representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs say about 15%. According to Roszdravnadzor, over the past five years, drug fakes in Russia have become significantly less. Officials cite the figure of 0.4-0.5%, however, with the reservation that we are talking about the share of counterfeit in proven drugs. Not all batches of drugs are tested. Large dealers also claim that there is little counterfeit in Russia: large manufacturers who have sinned by this no longer work.
Whoever is right, it is clear that the contradictory information only confirms the fact that the control system is imperfect and the conditions favor falsifiers. So, there are fake drugs in Russia. And it doesn’t matter if there are more or less of them. It is important for us to buy the “right” medicine.
Fakes are different. First you need to clarify which drugs are considered fake. In Russian law, the term “counterfeit” refers to “a medicine accompanied by false information about its composition and (or) the manufacturer”.
WHO identifies four types of fake drugs. 1. The first type is dummies that do not contain medicinal substances at all. Most often, such "medicines" are made from chalk, flour and starch in different proportions. They are safe when it comes to drugs that are taken from time to time, for example, from a headache. But they turn into killers if they are ambulance drugs, antibiotics or medicines intended for regular use, for example, for cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.
2. The second type of counterfeit products are preparations in which the active substance is replaced by a cheaper and less effective one.
3. In the third type of fakes - imitations - the drug substance is the same as in the original, but its dose is reduced. The danger of imitations is that such drugs blur the clinical picture, causing a temporary improvement.
4. The fourth type of fakes is copies, they preserve the original recipe, but technology compliance is not guaranteed.
What fakes can get into our home medicine chests? Ten years ago, when fakes flooded the Russian market, these were mostly dummies and imitations. Then unscrupulous manufacturers saved on medicinal substances. It was not difficult to calculate the fake medicine: the fake was given out by poor-quality packaging, and the tablets themselves, upon closer examination, differed from the original.
MEDICINES TAKE FIFTH PLACES IN THE RATING OF FALSE PRODUCTS. However, FALSE MEDICINES ARE SPECIALLY DANGEROUS FOR LIFE!
Now the situation has completely changed. The Russian market is 90% filled with branded drugs of multinational pharmaceutical companies and popular “generics”. In the cost of branded drugs, only 20% falls on production itself, the remaining 80% on research, promotion, maintenance of foreign representations of pharmaceutical companies and other expenses. Therefore, counterfeiters no longer need to save on medicinal substances, because they have no overhead. Moreover, they, like legal manufacturers, are interested in ensuring that the reputation of popular drugs is “on top” (otherwise, sales will suffer), so they make quite high-quality fakes in their own interests. This makes the Russian market for counterfeit medicines significantly different from the foreign ones. If, according to WHO, more than 50% of fakes in the world are dummies, then most of the Russian counterfeits are high-quality copies. Very often they are produced from the same medicinal substances as the original drugs, in compliance with the original technologies. WHO even recognized Russian fakes as perhaps the highest quality (!) In the world.
If all over the world they are engaged in the production of counterfeit drugs in illegal industries, then even legitimate pharmaceutical companies sin with this. Discussions that counterfeit medicines are made artificially “in the kitchen” or “in the garage” are considered by experts to be idle thoughts of non-specialists: production lines are expensive and it is not profitable to produce small batches of drugs.
Therefore, Russian experts emphasize that counterfeit drugs can be quite high quality. Nevertheless, their sale and use is strictly prohibited.
In addition to counterfeit medicines, counterfeit is also found on our market - imported drugs imported into the country bypassing official customs procedures, as well as domestic drugs manufactured “over the plan”.
WHAT ARE FORGING? Most often, the most popular and sought-after mid-priced drugs are faked. There is a clear correlation between large-scale drug promotion campaigns and the amount of counterfeit products revealed.
Abroad most often fake viagra, antidepressants and tranquilizers, hormonal drugs. In Russia - antispasmodics, painkillers, antihistamines, hepatoprotectors, enzyme preparations, arbidol and cold medicines.
THE LOW PRICE OF THE MEDICINAL PRODUCT, DIFFERENTLY DIFFERENT FROM THE AVERAGE IN THE CITY, SHOULD ALWAYS WARN YOU
But the proportion of fake antibiotics, fortunately, decreased from 45% to 3-4%. However, according to experts, much more low-quality drugs are produced in Russia, in other words, marriage. And if counterfeit products are detected less and less, defective drugs, as we were told in wholesale purchasing companies, are found almost every day. The monthly list of medicines withdrawn from sale includes dozens of names, and 99% is a defect: the expiration date has expired, packaging or labeling has been broken, the properties of the drug have changed as a result of improper storage
By law, defective drugs must be destroyed. But often they return to the manufacturers or are bought up by small wholesalers, where they are re-packed. And send back to the pharmacy!
EXPERT OPINIONVadim Vinokurov, Head of Pharmkontrol Information and Reference Service
The market for medicines is controlled by Roszdravnadzor. We help people navigate the sea of "medicinal" information. We have created a free referral and information service, as we have complete information about the drugs withdrawn from sale. Access to this information is open to all:
TIPS • Medicines should be bought only in large and network pharmacies. In no case should you buy medicines on hand, over the Internet, over the phone, and with ads.
• The packaging should be made of high quality cardboard, the colors should be bright and saturated, all markings (including the bar code) should be clear and easy to read, the abstract should be printed, not photocopied. In the original preparations, the annotation insert is enclosed in a box so that it divides the plate with the medicine or bottle in half. In a fake, the instruction is often folded separately from a blister or tube with tablets.
• Check batch and release date and expiration date on the inner packaging (blister) or bottle and cardboard packaging: they must match.
• Information on seized counterfeit and defective drugs can be found on the website of Rospotrebnadzor.
PHOTO: FOTOBANK / GETTY