Counterfeit drugs - Japan acts

Saturday, 25 October, 2014

Counterfeit drugs are not just theft but a serious crime that may result in death of patients whose life depends on the drugs being efficacious. I recently gave an overview of the situation for Australian travelers in my October Travel Bug column in Medical Observer. The column can be read here (registration is free).

Internet sites are a perfect tool for sales of fake presecription medicines. The government of Japan recently shut down 74 Japanese websites selling bogus drugs. Online sites particularly target drugs for erectile dysfunction and sleep disorders. In a Japanese survey 50% of the online erectile dysfunction drugs were fake. Read the Japanese story here. In a curious turn of phrase the website said "As bogus drugs have not received government approval, the ministry has deemed that the operation of sites that sell them is a violation of the law." Rightly so!

Australia has good quality presecription medicines. Buying dodgy prescription drugs online may not be worth the money saved.

Literature cited
Travel Bug column: Rick Speare. Drugs and the traveller. Medical Observer, 22 October 2014. Available at

Posted by Rick Speare