As counterfeiting continue togrow in the market and could hardly be recognized with the advancement oftechnology, new places which are least expected to house large counterfeitingmanufacturers are being revealed. The latest to join the list is Pakistan.
Pakistan's bustling markets arefilled with kiosk after kiosk selling pills, capsules, tablets, and syrups ofall types, for every type of ailment. It's almost impossible to tell which onesare genuine, and which are potentially deadly fakes. Just like other citiesfound to be the hub of counterfeiting (Jakarta, Indonesia had been the latestbefore the gray markets of Pakistan were found), fraudsters hide beneath the conundrum of a developing nation.
The World Health Organization(WHO) estimates that as many as one million people die every year worldwidefrom ingesting counterfeit medications.
In Pakistan, in 2012, in oneincident alone, 120 people died after taking counterfeit heart medicine. Thesemedicines may not have any active ingredient of active substance that can curethe disease but are brought anyway because of cheaper price.
According to the Peterson Group,a non-profit organizationcampaigning against counterfeit medicines and its proliferation, thesescammers transfer from one country to another once that their current post hasbeen determined. With the lack of security in the country that they transferinto, they have the advantage to leave without any trace and with ease.Sometimes, they even get assistance from the authorities just with the help ofa little bribery.
There are also times when thefraudsters do not work with a big bogus operation. Because of the demand andthe harshness of life, they are forced to sell counterfeit medicines withlittle understanding of how they could negatively impact another person’shealth and life.
In CNN’s exclusive interview withone of the makers and vendors of counterfeited medicines, he explained, “Wemake everything here, whatever is in high demand in the market place”.
The report continues, “The dusty,dirty operation moves swiftly as the man continues his show and tell ‘In all ofthese capsules and bottles we put the same ingredients. And all of the syrup isthe same syrup. Only the color is different’”.
Although the country has alreadycreated Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan since 2010, the problem is stillmassive. 45-50% of Pakistani drugs were fake or of substandard quality. Thegovernment is currently being asked of their side of the story but has but hasnot yet responded.