Recently in a southern Indian state a big cleansing action against fake , spurious and expired drugs were carried out .There was much hue and cry over the issue . It was found , millions of such drugs where in circulation and The Govt has initiated a blanket ban on all these drugs .Intriguingly it was the mainstream pharma industry that was indirectly driving the whip against these fakes.
Unless the medical professionals know what is really fake our patients can never be protected against the fake ! At the outset , let us recall the definition of the word fake
- One that is not authentic or genuine; a sham
- Having a false or misleading appearance; fraudulent
- To simulate, feign.
- To cause something inferior or not genuine .
- To appear more valuable, desirable, or real by fraud or pretence
Applying the above definition , all the following will fulfill the criteria for a “Fake drug ”
- A fake drug can be defined as a drug which is projected to have a one action but does not have that action.
- A drug which is claimed to have an action which is futile ( Eg : Antioxidant action of coenzyme q10)
- A drug which is supported by fake studies.
- A drug which is just better than a placebo but not better than a drug of it’s own class
- A drug prescribed with a sole intention of reciprocal benefit with pharma industry
- A drug which is never tested in the local population.
- A approved drug for an unapporved indication . It becomes fake for that group of patients.(Eg Statins for Aortic stenosis !)
- A drug or device which has a class 2b indication as per ACC/AHA has a very high chance of getting labelled as fakes.
*In simple terms , it is estimated the bottom half or ( at least one third) of any long prescription in an average Indian prescription is occupied by the fake drugs .
(A unnecessary Vitamin, a cardiotoner, a catalytic enzyme, a mitochondrial stimulator, a metabolic juice, a mood enhancer or depressor etc etc . . . )
In this era of glorious medical industry mankind is on a futile journey searching for the elusive kindness and truth from the industry . The easiest job in today’s world is , fooling around the public. The victims are not only the patients but also the medical professionals . The later often do a role of perpetuators as well .
As we realise , there are thousands of fakes masquerading as true drugs , let us pray the God to give us the strength to identify them , the courage to resist the temptation . (To prescribe)
Coming soon “The greatness of fake drugs “