How about going to
Well, that’s exactly what Sharon Flank of Infratrac did. Even better, she wrote Anticounterfeiting And NIR: A Hong Kong Diary, a very entertaining account of her adventures that was just published in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing magazine.
Skip the first part of the article and jump to the fun part, which begins with the heading “Shopping for Counterfeits in
Dr. Flank's personal search for counterfeit drugs in
“I asked how to tell which shops had counterfeits. Would they be the ones without a ‘No Fakes’ pledge or authorized dealer stickers? Not at all: if you buy even one pill legally, you get a sticker, and the rest of your inventory may not be genuine. Price is the key. The profit margin on pharmaceuticals is thin, about HK$10, a little more than a dollar. So no one will bargain much on genuine product, because they’d lose money. He suggested that I offer to buy five or six, and see if the price started to move.”
SPOILER ALERT: By the end of the article, she has successfully purchased fake Viagra and some alleged Cialis made by “Lieel” (!).
All in all, this article is an intriguing and scary first-person account that will enlighten anyone who believes that counterfeit drugs are not a threat. John Lechleiter, President and CEO of Eli Lilly, got it right in yesterday’s widely-cited Bloomberg article: “It’s a big issue, it’s a global issue, it’s an insidious issue.'”
Take a quick tour of great health care policy blogging from around the web in the latest Health Wonk Review edited by Jane Hiebert-White for the Health Affairs blog. Thanks to Jane for citing my recent extra-wonky posts on AMP!