It’s like the pandemic and the health crisis was not enough that some are trying to worsen the situation. The people who sell bogus treatment, false drugs have always existed. These particularly operate in poor countries. However, the rich countries are not spared from that. Probably you have heard about Omri Shafran, the latest biggest medical scam. Or if you have not, there are plenty others. Let’s look at what types of medical scams we have today.

The falsification of medicines is a scourge whose consequences on public health can be serious, even dramatic. It’s a global phenomenon that affects all countries and spares no therapeutic area. There are several types of infringement.

Counterfeit drugs: an infringement of intellectual property

Counterfeiting of medicines says it’s a total or partial imitation of an intellectual property right, without the authorization of its holder, by letting it be assumed that the copy is authentic.

Patent infringement

Patent infringement requires chemical analysis of the product.

Trademark infringement falls in imitation of packaging to create confusion in the minds of the public.

The WHO does not use the term “counterfeit” because of the concept of intellectual property.

What are scam drugs?

Falsified and counterfeit drugs: definitions

The World Health Organization adopted in May 2017, during the World Health Assembly, precise working definitions to qualify falsified medicines.

For each falsified medical product (drug, vaccine and medical device), WHO distinguishes three categories of situations, which we will explain below: “inferior products”, “unregistered products” and “falsified products”:

Lower quality products. These are products that have not been manufactured according to good manufacturing practices and do not meet quality standards. The causes may vary storage in poor conditions (e.g. paracetamol which has taken on moisture and the tablets are blackened) or the use of a wrong active ingredient by mistake.

– Unregistered products: these are products that either don’t pass evaluation according to the procedures or have not been approved or neither.

– Falsified products: Unlike inferior products, these are products that the manufacturer has knowingly adulterated. If the packaging imitates perfectly that of the real medicine, the medicine contains too low or too high amounts of active ingredients. Or no active ingredient. Corn starch, potato starch, chalk or physiological serum usually replace them, or even substances toxic to human health (for example, the fraudsters may put antifreeze in falsified medicines).

Covid scams and falsified vaccines

FDA had made announcements regarding the fraudulent vaccines and treatments. Also, there’s so many who do not believe in the word of scientists and are trying to cure themselves with alternative treatments. Lives are in danger both because of falling victim to a false vaccine and using a treatment that is not for human application, in the case of Ivermectin.

Many have chosen to be treated with the drug for horses rather than the vaccine treatment. Sad or not, it is true. And bogus treatment always finds its way to both the knowledgeable and unknowledgeable people and uses many methods and approaches. So stay vigilant these days and don’t trust any stranger showing up at your home offering miracle treatment, patent or medicine.

Eve Nasir