Beware of spurious medical products

Beware of spurious medical products

Medical products are important to ensure that those who need them would be properly helped. Unfortunately, there are people who manufacture counterfeit medical products, whether medical devices or medicines, and sometimes sell it at lower prices.

Using counterfeit medical products would not be able to help; worse, these fake medicines and medical devices can be fatal to anybody who uses it. These are made from inferior quality ingredients or components that may not really work or worse may contain toxic materials. Counterfeit medical products are now an international epidemic and a major public health risk for all people. Using them could result to injury, permanent disability or worse death. Although low-risk medical devices, such as an aneroid sphygmomanometer, whose failure is not likely to cause any serious consequences, still it is better to be sure. This is a risk that is growing by leaps and bounds as technology has also made counterfeiting methods easier and more sophisticated.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 8% of medical devices circulating today are counterfeit. And in response they have created a global coalition of stakeholders called IMPACT or International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce which is tasked to raise awareness, mobilize nations, and draft international legislation. This taskforce has been actively forging international collaborations in order that we can find a global solution to this global challenge. In the US, the Food and Drug Administration has been vigilant about these counterfeit medical products as US Customs seized over $30 million fake medical products including unsterile surgical bandages, faulty glucose test strips, and fake pharmaceuticals in 2009 alone.

Being aware and vigilant about this growing problem is not just the task of IMPACT and government agencies. Medical device manufacturers should also be more proactive in protecting and defending their brands because there can be legal liabilities as negative branding since their brands are often times used. Worse, this could also cause revenue loss that can ultimately cause them bankruptcy. More than ever, people should also be made aware that buying these counterfeit medical products, such as high-risk surgical instruments, at very low prices would not help them. When buying medical products online they should make sure that although they are low-priced aneroid sphygmomanometer, they come from well-trusted brands such as MDF or Prestige and from trustworthy online stores. Nowadays, we can never be more careful than ever. It is important that consumers be more vigilant and to report immediately any counterfeit medical products that you may have bought or have been offered to purchase. The US Food and Drug Administration have phone numbers as well as an online site MedWatch Online where they receive voluntary reporting of counterfeit medical products.