The Sunday Times (London) has a fascinating peek behind the scenes of a Chinese drug counterfeiting operation. See Factory for Fake Prescription Drugs.
One of their reporters posed as a UK drug wholesaler (!), which was apparently a very convincing disguise. It's easy to locate a counterfeit supplier – just post an online ad. The initial order: 200,000 packs a month of three drugs (Plavix, Casodex, and Zyprexa).
Is this all true? Since the Times reporter is not law enforcement, the Chinese businessman denied making or selling any counterfeit drugs. Of course, he was forced to admit that he did happen have machines to make counterfeits. And the photo gallery for the story shows his factory making much more than the standard Poison Me Elmo dolls. Look carefully at the last few pictures.
The Times says: “One of the problems appears to be Britain’s reliance on drugs bought through parallel trade – the system in which drugs are bought and sold several times because prices vary between different European countries.”
Importation Illusions, I say.