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Fake Drugs in Market / \'Putting Lives at Risk\'/
IFPMA Press Review 8/20/2004The Khaleej Times  DUBAI, 8/20/2004 - Drug counterfeiting is putting lives at risk in the region, according to pharmaceutical companies. Experts warn that the phenomenon is increasing in the Middle East. In the past, drug counterfeiting received ...
IFPMA Press Review 8/20/2004
The Khaleej Times 
 
DUBAI, 8/20/2004 - Drug counterfeiting is putting lives at risk in the region, according to pharmaceutical companies. Experts warn that the phenomenon is increasing in the Middle East.

In the past, drug counterfeiting received relatively little attention because it was viewed as a problem affecting mainly the Indian and Chinese markets. The problem has now spread around the world and is steadily impacting the lives of people in the Middle East.

Drug counterfeiting ranges from the illegal use of copyrighted commercial drugs, up to the manufacture of fake drugs. The practice has spread in recent months, partly because of increased demand for products like male potency medication.

Dr Ahmed El Hakim, health policy and external affairs director for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in the Middle East, said: "The health consequences of counterfeit medicines, many produced in unsanitary conditions with substandard or dangerous chemical components, are very real and often life threatening. They can also lead to drug resistance and can cause loss of trust between patients, doctors, pharmacists and health-care workers."

Executives at Pfizer congratulated the authorities the UAE and Saudi Arabia on the moves they have made to combat the problem, and have urged the general public to be more aware of the dangers of fake drugs.

Both the medical industry and the public have been hard-hit by the practice, as counterfeiters tend to target common prescription drugs such as antibiotics and painkillers.

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