how to identify fake medicines - Sachi Shiksha

On the basis of various surveys and researches made by the World Health Organization, it is depicted that every one out of ten pharmaceutical product is fake. It is not just an issue prevailing in the nation but is also one of the biggest threats to the entire mankind. Consuming substandard medicines can cause harmful side-effects because there could be inaccurate quantity of active ingredients present in the falsified medicine or it might have entirely different active chemicals that could lead to harmful side-effects. Its storage or transportation might not be done through a proper method or it may contain toxic chemicals.

There are various causes leading to an increase in the fake drug industry. When the demand of a specific drug increases, any street side pharmacist may start manufacturing falsified drugs in order to meet the need of consumers in the market. Absence of license, laboratories of analytical tests can also break protocol of pharmaceutical industry hence giving rise to the supply of fake drugs.

Some drugs are completely falsified while some are potentially fake which means they do not treat the disease or the patient. But it is very hard to identify fake drugs. The basic and fundamental way  to check if the drugs are counterfeit or not is to check their packaging for spelling errors , print, color and font. Compare them to the packaging of the medicine you have been using before. If you find any mistakes in spelling/font, then something might be fishy. Authentic medicines always have a security seal mainly the bottled ones, if there is any sort of damage in the seal the drug might be substandard.

The shape, size and color of the tablet must be compared to the older original ones to ensure its authenticity. Tablets can be fake if there are cracks on it, or a lot of powder is assembled at the bottom of the glass, if tablets get hard, soft or discolored, it is the evidence that they are falsified. Mostly, every drug has some side-effects, so if you suffer from heavy side effects or allergies because of consumption of medicine, it is an alarm to consult the doctor.

If the drugs are available at very cheap costs than their actual price, it is very important to detect them because then the probability is high that they are fake. Medicines can be detected online with the help of Pharma Secure which ensures safety of consumers against substandard drugs. There is always a particular code with a bar code on strip of medicine which can be sent to 9901099010 via SMS to get a message from the producer regarding originality of the drug. Other way is to go on the website of the Pharma Secure.

Choose the nation and put contact no. of authentication code printed on the drug package, type verification and click on the “verify” tab. But the authentication code is imprinted only on costly medicine, not every other drug. Since there is heavy competition in the drug industry, there are thousands of pharmaceutical brands present. Hence it is the duty of the customer to purchase medicines from elite pharmacies or reputed drug brands which highly decline the probability of getting counterfeit substances.

So, one should also check address of producer and batch no. online to confirm originality of the drug. It is very important for the person who is consuming the medicine, to match its taste with the older one, if the taste varies from previous one and allergies are seen in the body, then pharmacist and local drug agency must be contacted. These methods can be applied by the customers on day to day basis in order to ensure their safety from falsified drugs.

There are other chemical techniques which are used for detecting spurious medicines and can be performed at laboratories. One of the fundamental techniques is TLC, it can identify chemicals, their quantity and impurities of a specific drug. A lot of medicines might contain the same active chemicals but in lesser amount, hence it is very crucial to detect the level of active ingredients. Another way of testing medicines is analytical techniques which are used when the fake products seem to be near to the authentic ones and sensitive tools are needed for checking active ingredients, which involve magnetic  resonance, spectrometry etc, they prove outcomes within a short span of time and it is not very complicated to use.

Fake and cheap medicines have negative effects on human body; hence it is the responsibility of consumers themselves to verify the products before consuming them because precaution is better than cure.


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