Pharmaceutical Counterfeits And Their Effects

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Pharmaceutical Counterfeits And Their Effects

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The World Health Organization 2023 estimated that $83 billion of falsified medicine is sold yearly. Counterfeit medicine is a problem that’s evident worldwide; however, it’s more prevalent in low and middle-income countries.

The government finds it hard to enforce higher drug quality standards in these countries. In 2023, WHO found that one in 10 medicinal products in these developing countries is fake or substandard.

Customers tend to turn to counterfeit medicines to save money, for privacy purposes, and convenience. The most popular counterfeit drugs on the market are for erectile dysfunction, cancer, HIV/AIDS (antiretrovirals), antibiotics, and corticosteroids.

Despite the convenience and money-saving advantages of fake medicine, the negative effects of it are plenty and highly adverse to your health and the producers. Let’s talk about it.

Impact on Your Health

Remember that counterfeit drugs entail that it’s produced illegally; when these illegal manufacturers created these drugs, they weren’t subjected to safe manufacturing conditions. You should know that regulatory authorities check each site meticulously when creating medicine, and fake medicines lack these.

Thus, it’s impossible to determine what ingredients were put into these counterfeit medicines, making them extremely dangerous for your health.

Treatment Failure

If you don’t want to harm yourself and your health, don’t risk purchasing from random websites.

Why do people take medicine? It’s to relieve their symptoms and treat their diseases. However, counterfeit medicine can do the exact opposite, these fake medicine can fail to treat your disease or worsen it. Fake medicine may even cause death, but let’s focus on how these fake medicines cause treatment failure.

Some fake drugs contain real antivirals and antibiotics but at lower dosages (than necessary and as listed on the product label). As a result of the lower dosages, it’s expected that the disease won’t heal and be able to treat it.

It can cause the pathogens in your body to mutate and spread, causing it to grow and leave the disease both untreated and more potent, or in other words, you would become drug resistant, which in the future, makes your disease harder to treat.

Let’s use gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) as an example. It’s a condition where stomach acid repeatedly flows back into the tube that connects your mouth and stomach. Think of acid reflux but in a more severe form.

If you leave this condition untreated (and use counterfeit medicine), over time, the stomach acid can damage the tissue lining in your stomach (esophagus) and cause pain and inflammation. In adults, it can cause permanent damage to the esophagus.

Be sure to purchase your drugs in a registered pharmacy. Don’t purchase medicine from random websites just because they’re cheaper than purchasing it in a local pharmacy. You can use a Protonix Coupon to relieve your GERD symptoms if you want to save money on your prescription drugs.


Counterfeit medicine is dangerous for numerous reasons, and one of the most severe effects of this medicine is mass poisoning. Since these fake medicines aren’t made by actual and legal producers, it often contains the wrong and toxic ingredients.

It could be too little, too much, or none at all. Some fake medicines that authorities found to have rat poison, cement, mercury, arsenic, and many more harmful ingredients. These are all dangerous and life-threatening ingredients if consumed.

When you consume arsenic, and the poisoning becomes acute, you can have symptoms like hair loss, vomiting (and vomiting blood), diarrhea, convulsions, stomach pain, muscle cramps, and blood in your urine. On the other hand, when you ingest mercury, you may suffer from neurological and behavioral disorders and experience symptoms like memory loss, headaches, insomnia, tremors, motor dysfunction, and many more.

Impact on the Producers

People purchase these fake medicines off the Internet, social media apps, and websites that pose as online pharmacies. Counterfeit medications impact the producers with the millions of costs they have to spend on litigation, loss of revenue, reputation, and the increased costs they must take for security measures.

Loss of Revenue

Due to the possible boycott of consumers, you may have a significant loss of revenue. It creates an evident financial impact on manufacturers regarding profits and sales.

More than this, a business would have to use their money to protect the brand and try to do damage control which can leave the producers bankrupt from doing so since, without proper security, safety, and tracking measures, consumers would find it hard to trust a manufacturer again after their damaged reputation.

Damaged Brand

After consumers discover that this specific brand is involved with counterfeit drugs, it would be harder for them to trust a brand after the fact. Humans like discussing current events, especially concerning disturbing news like counterfeit drugs.

As more people talk about a brand, a manufacturing company that’s involved with people’s health and healing people, news that they’re involved with counterfeit drugs can cause ordinary citizens to boycott your brand altogether and cause a loss of revenue and a damaged brand.

Final Thoughts

Medicines made in poor quality, falsified, and illegally can cause drug resistance, disease progression, and even death. Furthermore, it doesn’t only affect the everyday person, but it also has an impact on the producers.

Counterfeit medicine leads to a loss of confidence in medicine, in healthcare, in the officials, in the brand, and in the system. It doesn’t only affect the people, but it affects every side involved in medicine.