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Warning over counterfeit drugs


Counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs are putting people’s lives at risk in the Irish Republic, a report claims.

The study, carried out by the Irish Patients’ Association, said fake drugs for epilepsy and even toothpaste contaminated by toxins had been detected.

And the rising availability of dangerous products over the internet, which are part of a 35 billion euro global industry, has compounded the problem, it added.

IPA chairman Stephen McMahon said: “The problem of fake medicines is not going away. It is only getting worse and it poses a genuine danger to Ireland.

“Worryingly this report includes an Irish respondent, a 50-year-old man, who had purchased his epilepsy medication from an Irish pharmacy, which his doctor then deemed to be an inferior medication after he had his first epileptic fit in eight years, and his levels were found to be below the preferred therapeutic level.

“He changed his medication and his blood levels returned to normal levels.

“We do not want to hear these kinds of stories happening, and need to work towards ensuring unsuspecting patients do not suffer unnecessarily.”

Mr McMahon is now calling on the Irish government to set up a taskforce to combat the threat of counterfeit medications.

Copyright © PA Business 2007

Irish Patients’ Association

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