Prescription Drug Counterfeiting
Charlotte, NC - Prescription drug counterfeiting is up more than 200 percent nationwide. That's the word from the Federal Drug Administration. Charlotte pharmacist Jesse Pike says, "There are serious problems with counterfeit meds coming into this country."
Pike would know! His family has been in the legitimate pharmaceutical business for generations. He says, even his business gets approached by questionable people. "There will be emails there will be telephone calls from companies purporting to be new wholesalers, mostly they come from Florida and these companies we know we do not deal with."
An FDA spokesperson tells FOX Charlotte, some of the counterfeit drugs coming into this country have even made it into doctors' offices. The FDA recently found bogus versions of an injectable cancer drug at medical practices in Sumter and Columbia, South Carolina. The physician got the drugs from an unlicensed supplier.
In most cases people get their hands on counterfeit drugs, by buying them online. Its often because patients are trying to save money on expensive name brand drugs. Right now there's a warning for the counterfeit version of ADHD drug Adderal. The real thing is in short supply, which has created a market for counterfeiters.
But pike says, the short term money savings is a bad investment in potentially long term health problems. He also points out, few consumers are trained to know what they're actually getting.